Tuesday was a pretty wild night for Red Sox fans, and not only because they played yet another 15-inning game. Before the game even got started, the internet was filling up with trade rumors involving Boston and Todd Frazier. He was a healthy scratch. He was hugging people. He went into the clubhouse! He must be coming to Boston! Obviously, that wasn’t the case and the Red Sox missed out on what seemed to be the most inevitable solution to the third base situation on the market. Frazier, along with David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, will instead be heading to the Bronx.
The rumor was that the Red Sox were looking at both Frazier and Robertson, although there have been some conflicting reports on how seriously the Red Sox were really looking in that direction. Either way, the team has been connected to third basemen and relievers all month, and the White Sox made sense as a trade partner. They no longer do, but the good news is there are plenty of other teams that can help at both positions. Granted, it’s not at all necessary for the Red Sox to trade for both positions in the same deal, but if it’s what they’d prefer here are the teams to which they can look.
This would have made sense a few days ago before the A’s sent Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to the Nationals. Still, they have the guy that may be the third baseman most likely to come to Boston at this point in Jed Lowrie. Perhaps that’s wishful thinking, but he fits as a short-term option with a little pop and he obviously has some history with this organization. It’s hard to see Lowrie keeping up the production he’s provided thus far this year, but even with a minor drop off he’d be a massive upgrade over the current third base situation. In the bullpen, Santiago Casilla and Blake Treinen could be options, although admittedly neither are all that intriguing. If I had to choose one it’d be the latter, as his stuff can be electric even if the results don’t always follow.
Staying in California, Dave Dombrowski obviously has some history dealing with the Padres. This is the team that withheld some medical information of Drew Pomeranz, so perhaps the Red Sox wouldn’t want to go back down this well. If they were willing to put that behind them, there’s an exciting tandem deal of Yangervis Solarte and Brad Hand available. This would be a costly duo — both are under control for multiple years — but it could be worth it. Phil discussed Solarte earlier today, so I won’t go too deep. Instead, I’ll just mention that he can play all over the diamond, meaning he won’t block Rafael Devers long-term. As for Hand, he has been a revelation since converting to the bullpen and has now been elite for a year and a half. The calls for him to be the next Andrew Miller are not all that far-fetched. I don’t see this one happened because of the cost and the team’s history with San Diego, but it’d be a huge boost.
According to reports, the Red Sox have been looking at a few different players on the Mets, and the disappointing New York squad could match up perfectly for a deal with Boston. In the infield, they have Asdrubal Cabrera and T.J. Rivera. The former is, in my opinion, one of the more underrated hitters in the game. Although he’s not a star, he has solid contact skills, decent pop and has been the victim of some poor luck on balls in play this season. He’s also been vocally disappointed with the Mets’ situation and could be someone who flourishes if/when he puts on a new uniform. He has a team option for 2018. The bad news with Cabrera is that he’s never been known for his glove and he’s never played third base. He’s spent the majority of his career at shortstop, though, so a transition could certainly work. Rivera, meanwhile, is under control for longer and is a more traditional third baseman. He’s a guy who, when he’s going well, will make a ton of contact and have success on balls in play, which is pretty similar to what the Red Sox already have. In the bullpen, the Mets are shopping Addison Reed. The righty would instantly become the second-best arm in the bullpen as he’s been near-elite (if not just plain elite) in the last two years. He’s also a rental, so the cost wouldn’t be ridiculous.
We’ve discussed this possibility a few times, but the Marlins are shopping a third baseman along with a couple different relievers. Prado has been connected to the Red Sox a few times this summer, though it doesn’t really make sense. He’s declining, expensive and under control for a few years. It’s worth mentioning Prado is also currently on the disabled list, which puts a snag in this scenario. Out of the bullpen, Miami could offer either David Phelps or A.J. Ramos. They are both under control for multiple years, but they are also both good rather than great. While I’m a fan of both — in particular I’ve always thought Ramos was a little underrated — I worry about them transitioning to the American League. That, combined with my lack of affinity for Prado, makes me wary of the potential of this deal.
Here is one that hasn’t been rumored, but it’d make plenty of sense if the two teams started discussing a deal. At the hot corner, the Pirates have two different options depending on how much of a commitment the Red Sox want to make. David Freese is the short-term option, and the former Angel is an underratedly solid contributor at the plate and he can play decent enough defense at third. If they want to go higher-impact and longer-term, they could look to Josh Harrison. He’d be more expensive, but he can also shift around the diamond in future years. Out of the bullpen, the ideal target would be Felipe Rivero, although he’d be really expensive. He’s under control through 2021 and has proven to be one of the elite relievers from the left side in all of baseball. For a more reasonable price, they could target Tony Watson or Juan Nicasio, though both come with their flaws.
This may be the dream scenario, but the only way it could possibly happen is if the Royals start losing almost every game over the next week or two. Right now, they are still in contention for a wild card spot and if they are within shouting distance of a playoff spot I think they’ll want to make one last run with the current core. If they fall out of it, Mike Moustakas becomes a highly intriguing rental option and Kelvin Herrera could form an outstanding one-two punch with Craig Kimbrel in the back of the bullpen. I think this is a far-fetched idea, but it’s not totally impossible.
Personally, I have this weird feeling the Mets are going to be the team the Red Sox deal with if they decide to trade for a package rather than doing separate deals to fill their holes. This is based almost entirely on a guy feel, though, and I haven’t eaten breakfast yet. Did I miss any potential trade partners? Which potential package do you find the most appealing?