Tuesday night is the All-Star Game, which is a big deal no matter how you feel about the actual play on the field. It’s a big deal because it marks a shift in the schedule. Once this game is over, we officially move on to the second half of the season and we officially move on into trade season. We’ve already had plenty of trade rumors over the last few days and there is surely more to come as the month progresses.
One theme we’ll surely notice as we get deeper into trade season is the two factions of Red Sox fandom. One will want to hold on to as many prospects as possible and try to use this year as one to rebuild the farm. The other will, to an extent, want to deal prospects to help this 2017 team’s chances at making and advancing through the postseason. Personally, I find myself more aligned with that second group, but there’s a limit to the prospects I’d deal and I certainly understand where group one is coming from. For example, I can’t imagine a player being available for whom I’d trade either Jason Groome or Rafael Devers. These are a couple top-20 prospects (per Sox Prospects) that I could most see the Red Sox dealing this summer.
Michael Chavis, 3B, Portland
Chavis is easily the most legitimate “top” prospect I could see the Red Sox dealing this summer. The former first round pick has, of course, experienced a major breakout this season and has improved his reputation enough that he was included among the top 100 prospects in all of baseball on Baseball America’s midseason list. Although this breakout sort of came out of nowhere, it’s not necessarily a flash in the pan. Chavis was drafted out of high school late in the first round, and that is the type of player with big time potential that can take a while to develop. If anything, he’s simply a reminder for patience with prospects.
That said, this could be the perfect time to sell on Chavis. For one thing, despite what was said above, it’s hard to ignore his lack of track record prior to 2017. While it’s far from a given, there is at least a chance his value is as high as it will ever be. If that’s the case, trading him now would probably give the most value to the organization. Additionally, while the bat has been fantastic it’s still unclear where his future defensive home is. He’s spent most of this year at third base, and while he’s not a disaster there he’s far from great. Plus, that’s Devers’ home for the long-term. The Red Sox shouldn’t go into this deadline thinking they have to trade Chavis. A bat as good as his is hard to develop and will play anywhere. However, if the right deal comes around they shouldn’t be afraid to deal their newest top prospect.
Mike Shawaryn, RHP, Salem
After Chavis, we move out of our top ten for the other prospect I see moving this summer. It’s not that I can’t see someone like Josh Ockimey or Bobby Dalbec being moved, but for reasons like positional value and lack of playing time this year, they don’t seem as optimal to move. Shawaryn fits the bill as a rising prospect who the team could sell on to get help return a significant piece. This one hurts me a bit because Shawaryn is one of the more exciting prospects in the system. He has excelled since turning pro and has been been impressive at both Low- and High-A this season. Specifically, he has shown the ability to miss bats and is striking out more than a batter per inning with relative ease.
With that being said, there is still concern about Shawaryn’s future. He was a college draftee, and thus the speed with which he is moving through the system is more the expectation than truly impressive. The real test is whether or not he’ll be able to handle Double-A hitters, and that test likely won’t come until 2018. It may be smart to sell on him before he either passes or fails that test. Furthermore, there is still some concern with his delivery and some believe he is destined for the bullpen. This isn’t a given, but it’s just another factor to consider when keeping him in the organization. Shawaryn has plenty of exciting qualities, and like Chavis they shouldn’t actively seek a trade including the righty, but he shouldn’t hold them back, either. While he wouldn’t bring back a big piece on his own, he could be the perfect second piece in a trade to bring back a significant player to help the major-league roster.