Just like with this week’s FanPost Friday, it was not a challenge trying to come up with a question for this week’s staff roundtable. In fact, I asked the staff the same question I asked all of you! It was very simply stated this time around: “Grade the trade deadline with a letter grade.” Not much more to say beyond that. Let’s get to the answers!
I’ll give the Red Sox a solid B+ for their deadline performance. The Connor Seabold/Nick Pivetta return was my personal favorite of the bunch, especially considering Workman is a rental in a shortened season and Hembree isn’t exactly a dazzler. Getting Pivetta is a very Rays-esque move, and I’m excited to see if he can make adjustments in similar fashion to someone like Tyler Glasnow following his trade from the Pirates. Okay, maybe not that good, but we can hope. The return for Moreland was a close second for me; I was honestly a bit surprised a platoon-guy netted both Hudson Potts and Jeisson Rosario. FanGraphs ranked Potts and Rosario as the third and ninth best prospects dealt yesterday, respectively. Pretty solid for a first basemen with less than 80 plate appearances. As for Josh Osich and Kevin Pillar, both were signed to short deals this offseason, so getting anything for them is a net positive to me. Also, I was glad we didn’t see any “tear it all down” moves, and that both Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts stayed put. All in all, nothing spectacular happened, but it was a productive deadline that added much-needed depth.
I’ll take a brief look at each move made during this past week:
Connor Seabold and Nick Pivetta for Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree : I’d give this transaction a B. This was the first trade the Sox made and one of our more desirable trade candidates was sent to Philly. I wonder if we could have gotten more if we waited but it was still a good return. I’m not sure if Pivetta is salvageable as a starter but it doesn’t hurt anything to give it a try. Seabold will need to be added to the 40 man but that is okay. We need all the pitching help we can get.
Jeisson Rosario and Hudson Potts for Mitch Moreland: This one gets a A-. Moreland was having a great season but due to his age and platoon splits but I wasn’t sure if he would be traded by himself. I was wrong. If everything goes to plan Roasrio should be an every day CF and Potts could be a interesting masher off the bench.
PTBNL for Josh Osich: Even without knowing the return, I give this a B+. The Red Sox picked him off waivers during the offseason and then turned him into a PTBNL. That is what rebuilding teams should do.
PTBNL and International $ for Kevin Pillar: I’ll give this a B. Pillar was on a one year deal so moving him to a ‘contender’ for something is the smart move. I’m not sure what the Rockies are doing, well I’m never sure what they are doing, but getting something from them is a win.
So overall, I’d give the trade deadline a solid B. I wish we could have moved some of the other relievers or outfielders but it was still a solid performance.
The odd year of course led to an odd deadline. And for the Sox, it was the first deadline under Chaim Bloom. The rumors of his thoughts ranged from a fire sale to a lesser fire sale. And it was a solid effort by the team.
Keepers: A Xander Bogaerts wasn’t traded. Neither was J.D. Martinez or Christian Vázquez . Or Jackie Bradley. There wasn’t much reason to keep Bradley around for competitiveness but he’s a good player in a year that the Sox don’t have enough.
Trades: C+ Given that the Sox best trade chips weren’t moved, this is about as good as you can get. Nick Pivetta, Connor Seabold, Hudson Potts, and Jeisson Rosario from the Phillies and Padres area all interesting. I remember hearing some buzz about Pivetta a few years ago. While he hasn’t lived up to much in the majors, every so often a pitcher changes teams and figures things out a little late. Why can’t that happen to the Red Sox? We’re still in the pitcher advantage era, maybe he’ll catch fire. If there’s a reason they wanted Pivetta rather than the pitcher being what the Phillies offered I’d feel more excited. The trades with the Rockies and Cubs, well, they include the ever-popular players to be named later.. So maybe this grade gets pushed to a B-. But you know what they say, Cs get degrees. Overall this was Phase 1 of the Bloom Rebuild. Players need to go so new players can come in. We’ll be watching his career with great interest.
I give the Red Sox a B+ for the trade deadline deals. They did well to get anything back at all, and did particularly well with the Mitch Moreland return. I have mixed feelings on the Brandon Workman/Heath Hembree deal, but there’s the potential for growth, so I can’t complain about that deal either. Remains to be seen what they really get from Kevin Pillar or Josh Osich, but anything is better than nothing.
My only qualm with how the Red Sox and Chaim Bloom handled the deadline is that I wish they’d done more. Jackie Bradley Jr should not still be with this team, and there’s the chance that we could have moved more of our pitchers who aren’t worth keeping into 2021/2022. All told, it was a good job by Bloom, but an imperfect one.
I’d give the Red Sox a C. I was surprised with what they got back for Mitch Moreland even if he has a super-cheap team option for next year, but using your biggest deadline chip to acquire Nick Pivetta is such a strike in my book that I can’t go any higher. It’s nice that they got Connor Seabold because the Phillies, like the Red Sox, are petrified of going over the luxury tax, but that doesn’t make using your biggest deadline chip to acquire someone who’s been one of the worst pitchers in baseball since his debut who’s about to enter arbitration will be out of options next year okay. I would’ve much preferred it if they had taken a flyer on a low-minors upside guy because I don’t see Pivetta being on the next good Red Sox team or even if you’d want him on the next good Red Sox team on the off-chance they untap whatever potential they think is there.
I give it a C+. I wasn’t expecting them to make a splash, they did move some guys and get some interesting prospects in return, it was basically what I expected. I was surprised Bradley and Matt Barnes weren’t moved but I also understand why they weren’t. I give them the + because Bloom didn’t fall victim to the rumors and kept Xander Bogaerts on the team, as he should have. I think they did what they should have done, and had an average trade deadline. Hopefully its a more exciting offseason.
I go with a solid B. Once you put aside the disappointment that they were in a position to sell in the first place, I think they mostly did as well as they could have given the situation. The main thing I was looking for was not trading Christian Vázquez or Xander Bogaerts, and they did neither of those things. That bumps them up. I also think they did incredibly well in the Mitch Moreland deal, which also bumps them up. Obviously there is some sense of incompleteness to this deadline as well with us not knowing the players to be named later in the Kevin Pillar and Josh Osich deals, so this is something of a dynamic grade.
All that said, I can’t quite get to an A because I wasn’t really blown away with the Workman/Hembree return. I don’t know that they could have done much better because I don’t know that those two relievers had a ton of value, but there seems to be a pretty good chance Pivetta just stinks and while Seabold is getting some post-trade hype I’m wary of buying too much into that. It wasn’t a failure of a trade, to be clear, but nothing special overall.
I’ll give the trade deadline a B. The deals were pretty good, but the players untraded — JBJ specifically — leave room for the imagination to run. That said, as I wrote yesterday, good job by Chaim Bloom to begin the escape from the hell partially of his own making, even if he was just following orders.
I’m not going to overcomplicate this one too much. The Red Sox under Chaim Bloom had a very solid trade deadline, but solid is not spectacular. They traded a bunch of players that they should trade in Kevin Pillar, Josh Osich, Mitch Moreland, Brandon Workman, and Heath Hembree. In return they added some prospects with varying likelihoods of success. Most importantly to me they kept the core of Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Alex Verdugo intact while not selling low on Christian Vazquez or Andrew Benintendi. Maybe Bloom should’ve settled for whatever teams were offering for Matt Barnes and Jackie Bradley Jr., but I’m also fine keeping them on the team. I say Bloom earns a solid “B”.