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The Flyby - Deadline Decisions

What should the Red Sox do at the deadline? Here’s what our readers believe.

San Diego Padres v Chicago Cubs
All I want for Christmas is Kirby Yates
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Over the weekend, I asked readers to come up with a plan for what the Red Sox should do prior to the upcoming trade deadline. After all, there’s only one this year, and if the Sox fail to make any moves by July 31 they will be unable to add much of significance to their major league roster unless the player is already in the system.

There are a lot of rumors out there, including one very sexy one involving Edwin Díaz. What do the readers think?

The Red Sox Should Not Go All-In - Soxfan893

What they said - This team is chock full of talent. Unless they go on a ridiculous tear before the deadline, we should mostly stand-pat. Don’t sell the team off, as too many of the guys who could fetch any value are just too valuable to this team long-term. Definitely don’t go out and get rentals though. If they do something, it should involve a player who will make a serious impact, and be signed for a number of years. Not much is out there, so they should just stand pat.

I think the general idea is solid. We do have serious talent, we do have a fun team, and we should not be sellers. That’s especially true after clobbering the Yankees this past weekend. Additionally, we really shouldn’t be looking at rentals unless they are extremely cheap. Our farm is barren, and we don’t need to make it even more barren for a player who may not be an impact this year.

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

There is one player out there who could be impactful and have enough team control to where a deal would be worth it, and it’s a player the Red Sox have been heavily connected to over the past couple days. I’m talking of course, of Edwin Díaz. He’s allowing more hits this season, and that’s bad, but he’s also been a significantly better overall pitcher than several of our own talents, and is under control for at least the next three and a half years.

Díaz would immediately give us a cost-controlled closer, one who has had success, and one who would allow the Red Sox to move Nathan Eovaldi, Matt Barnes, and Brandon Workman into roles that conserve their arms further, for a playoff run (and trust me, in the playoffs, these arms would be vital).

The scary thing becomes cost. I believe the cost would feature one of Bobby Dalbec or Triston Casas (most likely Dalbec given proximity and the Mets perceived strategy), as well as one of Bryan Mata or Darwinzon Hernandez. There may be a third minor piece involved, but I feel like this is bare minimum of what it would take to convince the Mets who have a very valuable asset on their hands. And scarier still? I think it might be worth it. I’ve never been a big believer in Bryan Mata, and think Dalbec would just be the cost of business (though I’d be trying my darnest to change the cost to Casas).

Deadline Conundrum - Bosoxsince89

What they said - The Sox have proven they are a legitimate contender, but there are gaps in the armor. There are no half-measures, so let’s go all-in. We should get a better first baseman, long and short-term. Jose Abreu makes sense. We should also get a closer, and Kirby Yates stands out. If we can, get a starter too, like Robbie Ray. Finally: extend Mookie. Pay him now. Full disclosure, not everything will happen. If anything does, it’ll be the pen arm.

In terms of pure fantasy value... Abreu, Ray, and Yates as acquisitions would be terrific! I’m on board with all of this! The problem lies in the cost, say goodbye to potentially 80% of our top 10 prospects, and possibly a further 2 or 3 top 20 guys.

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jose Abreu may be a rental, but if the plan is to extend him instantly, I can see a deal making sense, particularly if you can get him without having to give up anything crazy. Bosox proposes using Dalbec, which for me, is a little too crazy for a rental. Another name pitched, Nick Northcut, makes sense as a secondary piece, and strikes me as the type of player the White Sox would go for. As for a centerpiece, I’d suggest CJ Chatham, who has really come into his own over the past year in Portland.

Kirby Yates is the player on the list I’m most interested in, but he’d also be the most costly, by far. He’s not a rental, but he’s only under contract for one more season after 2019, and that would be a difficult pill to swallow, given the cost he’s sure to command as one of the premier relief arms in the major leagues. The talks almost certainly start with one of Casas/Dalbec, I would think, with secondary pieces like Nick Decker also making sense. I do think playing on Jay Groome’s ceiling as a tertiary piece could make the deal more appealing for the Padres, who are getting really close to contention themselves, and would need such a sweetener to forgo holding on to Yates. One thing is for sure, though: Yates is filthy, and would instantly be our best reliever by a significant margin.

I’m not sure we need another starter, especially if we get another reliever. In my mind, once we get a reliever, we can shift Eovaldi back to a 5th-7th inning role, and have him used as a follower to Andrew Cashner. By having the two piggyback, you can get through 7 innings, and save the pen, while also not overextending either of the two starting class pitchers, and keeping them fresh for the playoffs.

And yes, extend Mookie. Duh. Hopefully they do that soon, and he doesn’t cost ten zillion dollars.

Make a Move, but Keep it Cheap - Phantom255x

What they said - The Red Sox should get a 7th/8th inning arm to go side by side with Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, Marcus Walden, Nate Eovaldi, and Darwinzon Hernandez. The guys we’d most want will just be too expensive, so no Edwin Díaz, no Kirby Yates, no Shane Greene. Instead, we should target Sam Dyson, Tony Watson, Mychal Givens, Alex Colome, or Daniel Hudson. The best would be Watson, but the Giants may not sell.

I have to preface this by saying I do not think the Giants will be sellers. Thus, the best option of the lot by a significant margin (Tony Watson) is off the board. Of those left in contention on the list, my personal favorite is actually Mychal Givens.

“But Jake”, you say, “he has a mid 4’s ERA, and serves up dingers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!”

MLB: JUL 25 Orioles at Angels Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This is a fair concern! Especially at Fenway Park. He’s keeping the ball in the air, more than he is keeping it on the ground. He’s also given up too much hard contact, and nearly a quarter of his fly balls are leaving the park. These things are not likely to change. Something caught my eye though, when looking at his numbers.

Against the 3-5 hitters in the lineup, Givens has given up 5 hits and 4 walks in 47 plate appearances. This is a small sample size, for sure, but that’s incredible. Those hitters are hitting .116/.191/.395 against Givens. While it may be unreasonable to expect this going forward, it still stands out as a positive against his otherwise negative looking profile. For reference, Barnes has given up 18 hits, and 8 walks in 78 plate appearances. His same triple slash against is .261/.333/.420.

Again, consider the sample size, but if we’re going cheap, we could probably do worse than Givens, someone who has had some measure of success in the AL East.