It’s trade season, and you can expect things to really ramp up after Tuesday’s All-Star festivities in Washington D.C. In terms of rumors, though, we are already getting some leaks coming out here and there. On Sunday, we learned about a couple of players the Red Sox have been shown to be interested in, one of which is mildly surprising and the other is not. The first is Mike Moustakas, who Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports Boston has shown interest in.
The #RedSox and #Braves are both interested in Mike Moustakas as a trade deadline acquisition, sources say. The #Yankees have already been mentioned as a potential landing spot. There's enough of a market for Moose that it's more likely than not the Royals deal him this month.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 15, 2018
Now, these rumors aren’t as ridiculous to me as the Manny Machado rumors simply because it won’t cost as much to acquire Moustakas. That being said, it’s still a little surprising and it also fits with the idea that the Red Sox are trying to put pressure on the Yankees by inserting themselves into talks for players with whom New York has already been connected. That being said, there is some possible justification for a deal like this.
Rafael Devers is still the future at third base. On that almost all of us will agree. However, as a 21-year-old he has unsurprisingly been unsteady and inconsistent in 2018. That is not much of a surprise and not overly concerning for his future, but the Red Sox do have to pay attention to the here-and-now given their fantastic start to the year. Moustakas could arguably add a more stable presence at the hot corner for a couple of months down the stretch. On the year, Moustakas is hitting .249/.306/.466 for a 105 wRC+. That’s not great, but it’s better than Devers’ .241/.292/.424 line for an 87 wRC+. To be fair, Moustakas had a huge April and has slowed down since then. From May 1 on, he has a wRC+ of 89, which is obviously very similar to Devers’ full-season production.
On the whole, I don’t really get this for the Red Sox and don’t think they’d use their relatively limited resources on this position, particularly for someone like Moustakas. I do think the veteran has a higher floor than Devers and there’s something to be said for his experience making multiple playoff runs with the Royals, but ultimately I can’t see the upgrade being big enough to justify this kind of deal. The one scenario where it makes sense is if Devers’ shoulder injury is worse than we think, but there’s no indication of that being the case as of this writing.
In addition to the Moustakas rumor, it has also come out that Boston is interested in Mets closer Jeurys Familia.
https://t.co/cF7X4nbmVx Notes: #stlcards manager search. #Twins should have SP to deal. #Padres have contenders interested in their pitching. #Redsox have some interest in Familia #Mets. Would #Nationals ever reconsider moving Robles to go for Realmuto?— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 15, 2018
This one makes more sense, and you can just add him to the list of higher-end relievers to which Boston has been connected. Familia is not a perfect reliever, but he would certainly lengthen the Red Sox bullpen. The righty has been great in the past and has a great combination of strikeout stuff and ground ball rate. Depending on your metric of choice, he’s either been fine, great or terrible this year. He has a 2.88 ERA and a 2.49 FIP, which is really good. However, he also has a 5.37 DRA, which is well below-average and a cause for concern.
Familia would slot into a late-inning role for the Red Sox, though purely on merit it’s hard to determine if he would really be a better option than Matt Barnes, who is having a huge season. Based on name value, he’s almost certainly be between Craig Kimbrel and Barnes on the pecking order, though that distinction isn’t that important. It’s also worth noting that he is a free agent at the end of the year, so the cost wouldn’t be too high. It also has to be mentioned that Familia was suspended for 15 games after being arrested in a domestic violence case before the 2017 season, though his case in court was eventually dismissed. MLB stated that they had no evidence he physically abused his wife, though they did deem his behavior “inappropriate” on the night in question.