The Red Sox are going to be connected to third basemen all month long. I still expect Todd Frazier to be the guy they go out and trade for, assuming they trade for anyone at all, but the early rumor mill has another name at the top of the list. That name is Martin Prado of the Marlins. We’ve heard his name in rumors before, and on Sunday we heard it again, this time with a twist. Along with Prado, the Red Sox are interested in Marlins right-handed reliever David Phelps.
When the Prado rumors first hit at the end of June, I gave my opinion on the matter. You can read that here. I won’t go into too much detail in this space since I’ve already done so, but the short version is that it doesn’t make all that much sense given his contract status, his age and his current talent level.
Phelps makes things a little more interesting. The Red Sox have gotten great production from their bullpen this season, but looking at the unit makes one think they could use some reinforcements. Phelps is an interesting name who could be added to the mix and possibly take the eighth inning job as soon as he was brought in. He’s been great over the last two seasons in Miami’s bullpen, striking out over a batter per inning and posting solid ERAs and peripherals in that time.
With that being said, he has some control issues and allows enough balls in the air to wonder if he’d struggle with a conversion to the American League East after calling Marlins Park his home for the last two years. He is a talented reliever and could very likely help this Red Sox team, but he also wouldn’t be my top option. In fact, I’d prefer they looked at some help from the left side if they seek bullpen reinforcements. As is always the case for these types of rumors, it all comes down to the asking price. There is probably a deal that makes sense for a Prado/Phelps package, but given the Red Sox current situation it’s not a package I’d spend all my time looking for.