Hey, so the Red Sox made a trade yesterday. It was for Ian Kinsler. This just adds to their list of July trade additions with Steve Pearce and Nathan Eovaldi being the others. There may be room to add more. There may not be. Who knows? We aren’t Dave Dombrowski. Or are we? *ominous music plays*
I asked you to make some deadline wishlists, predictions, basically whatever. I wanted us to have fun.
We got two responses, and below, you can read my own as well.
Do We Even Have Flaws? - gosawks
What they said - They want the following things, and they want it now: reliable late inning help and someone better at second base. Specifically, Craig Stammen and one of Jed Lowrie/Brian Dozier. Additionally, don’t kill the system. OK?
I’m not sure how gosawks feels about Ian Kinsler, who has forced a re-write of a decent amount of this post, but second base has been effectively upgraded. Rather than talk about things that won’t happen, like Dozier or Lowrie, I’m going to focus on the name Craig Stammen, whether I believe he’s realistic, and whether it represents an upgrade.
As of this writing, Stammen has a 2.63 ERA, and great peripherals (8.2 H/9, 0.2 HR/9, 1.8 BB/9, 10.2 K/9), so on paper, he makes a ton of sense for this Red Sox roster that could use an upgrade over the Ryan Brasier spot on the roster. Most importantly, it doesn’t appear to be a Petco Park mirage. He pitches well enough on the road that I’m not too concerned about a transition to the American League and Fenway Park.
Stammen throws a slider, curveball, and four seam fastball, which are all pretty decent, but what stands out to me most is that he keeps the ball on the ground. While before this is less of a need, adding Kinsler to our infield defense would seem to necessitate any new reliever taking advantage of the newfound defensive upgrade.
I’d like to add Stammen, but I’m not sure what the cost would be. I’m sure the cost wouldn’t be too high, so I’ll label this as a good idea.
Have Your Cake, Eat It Too - VermeilLikesToCry
What they said - Not only do we need to upgrade our 25 man roster, but we should also strive to go below the 237MM luxury tax threshold, and without giving up significant prospects. This seems hard. We’ll do it by flaunting the one thing we have a lot of: money. What type of player makes sense? Jedd Gyorko is one!
This is an interesting idea, and I’ll run with it. So here’s what I’m going to try to do: improve the roster, while keeping us under the 237MM LT, and while keeping all our top prospects.
VLTC proposed moving Drew Pomeranz + Eduardo Nunez to cut our salary commitments down. I’m no mathematician, so I’m going to trust VLTC’s calculations, and infer from what we know about the Kinsler deal (where we pay half of his remaining contract). If we cut Pomeranz and Nunez (which I would be absolutely fine with), and account for the Kinsler addition, we could theoretically take on most any reliever (which I would argue, improves the roster). What team would want Pomeranz and Nunez, and be willing to trade a reliever for him, however? My guess would be the Washington Nationals, who have decided they want to both sell and buy for some reason. They are willing to listen on Bryce Harper, but still want to consider contending.
Nunez is probably an upgrade at second base over Difo, whereas Pomeranz can slot in in the bullpen the rest of the way, and give them a long option that is better than Sammy Solis. I’m not sure the Nationals actually do this, but Kelvin Herrera hasn’t worked out for the Nationals. The Red Sox had interest. A second-hand Herrera would be an upgrade for us. Maybe this works, maybe this doesn’t. It’s a hard sell. They’d probably prefer to sell Brandon Kintzler (who we’d likely just buy out at the end of the year), but he doesn’t represent an upgrade.
Now, what do I think? I had written a large post to be put up tomorrow, but had to trash a lot of it. I had expected us to improve at second base (and I was targeting both Brian Dozier and Scooter Gennett), and had also hoped for an upgrade at third and in the bullpen. I believe, obviously, that both Dozier/Gennett are out. I like Kinsler, so this is just fine.
What comes after, I have a few ideas. Dave Dombrowski says we are done, probably, but I don’t know if I buy that.
First, addressing the bullpen, there are a number of names I would like, and I’m not averse to trading top prospects. I like Keone Kela a lot, and I’m also a big fan of Raisel Iglesias. Realistically, both are probably far too expensive for our blood, but if the long-term plan is to let Craig Kimbrel walk (and get a draft pick in compensation), I think this is a trade we can afford to make, since we need to start saving money for a run at extending both Chris Sale and Mookie Betts. My preference is probably Iglesias, but I think Kela would be cheaper.
At third, Adrian Beltre was briefly rumored. I’m not sure it’ll happen, they don’t seem close. But I’d be for it, especially if the plan is to platoon him with Rafael Devers. Devers is hitting righties well enough, to let him try to figure it out at the major league level. Adrian Beltre on the other hand, has absolutely murdered lefties, and that would represent a massive upgrade. The big issue becomes who is off the playoff roster, but with so many long men in the pen, I think this question isn’t as big of one as we’d think. Outside of Beltre, I’m not sure a real upgrade actually exists, with Mike Moustakas off the board. Additionally, there’s the argument that Nunez at third might not be as bad as Nunez at second.
However, being the best friend of chaos, wouldn’t it be funny to see the Sox land Josh Donaldson?