All Quiet on the Western Front (2022) depicts the struggles of German soldiers in World War I, fighting in trench warfare. The end of the movie notes that over three million soldiers died, gaining just a few hundred meters of territory in the process. I’m not here to give my opinions on the war, but the author of the source material for the film appears to be of the opinion that the fighting was largely pointless. I am here to give my opinions on the trade deadline, and much like that author, I think the discourse yesterday was largely pointless.
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Over the past several days, the Red Sox made a few notable moves. Last Tuesday, they traded Kiké Hernandez for two upper-minor relievers. The next day, they sent minor leaguer Marques Johnson to San Francisco for right-hander Mauricio Llovera. And then, silence.
For the next few days, there were occasional rumblings of trading for a starter, an infielder, or trading away Adam Duvall, Alex Verdugo, or James Paxton. Deadline day finally came and it seemed like one of those rumors would materialize into something concrete. Then we waited. And waited. And waited. Six o’clock came and went, and Twitter - no, X - turned into the worst place on the internet, outside of maybe the comment section of an Andrew Tate TikTok. Finally, it was reported that the Red Sox acquired infielder Luis Urias from the Brewers in exchange for Bradley Blalock, a low-minors starter. Urias has been injured for most of this year and spent time in AAA, but he’s produced in the past, generating over 3 WAR in each of his first two full seasons in the majors. He’s also cost-controlled until 2026. Blalock is a Rule-5 eligible, 22-year-old coming off of Tommy John surgery at high-A. Low risk, high reward.
As an aspiring Red Sox writer with little to no following, (@Jake3Roy on X), what better way to endear myself to the fan base than asking: what the hell did you expect to happen? Chaim Bloom was pretty clear with his objective to acquire young, controllable pieces to add to their already young core. Sure, he mentioned adding a pitcher, but if you look around the league, you’ll see that young, controllable pitchers didn’t move. The names that were thrown around today were Logan Gilbert, Mitch Keller, and Dylan Cease. The Orioles and Dodgers, two of the best-positioned teams to make those deals, decided that the price was too high. Trading for any of those guys would have been great, but it was clearly a seller’s market, and even the biggest buyers didn’t buy.
But Jake what about the rentals? If you were truly expecting Chaim Bloom to go out and trade for Jack Flaherty or Lucas Giolito, I don’t know where you’ve been for the past few years. Outside of Kyle Schwarber, that hasn’t been Bloom’s MO. Whether he should or shouldn’t be dealing with rentals is another conversation, but if you really thought he was going to trade for two months of Jordan Montgomery, you haven’t been paying attention.
On the other side of the coin are those who say they should have sold. Adam Duvall and James Paxton were the names thrown around who could have returned something valuable. Paxton might have been able to get a solid prospect; Duvall would have netted a lesser one. Personally, I don’t need any more prospects. You can never have too many, but the system is fairly healthy, and this is baseball. Why hurt the current team by trading away a top starter and solid bat when the playoffs are right there? Catch fire at the right time and who knows what the ceiling is.
Now, taking a step back, the team is currently 1.5 games out of the wild card. There’s good news and bad news on that front. The good news is that Toronto didn’t do a ton to get a whole lot better. The bad news is that both Houston and Texas did. I’m willing to admit that both Houston and Texas are ahead of the Red Sox in terms of talent. Toronto, not so much. They added a few relievers and a depth infielder, but there’s no one there that will make a major impact. They also show up on the schedule six more times. As for the teams behind us? I’m not too worried. The Angels are cursed, the Yankees couldn’t score more than four runs if my mom were on the mound (no offense, mom), and the Mariners traded away their closer as they look ahead to next year.
I’m not trying to say the Red Sox are in better shape than they were yesterday. I’m just saying this isn’t the end of the world. It’s lame to say that Trevor Story, Garrett Whitlock, Tanner Houck, and Chris Sale are like trade additions — they’re not. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true that they should be coming back and can contribute to this team. Since the All-Star break, the team has the second-best record in the American League. That’s with an incredible pitching shortage. There are 55 games left in the season. Sooner rather than later you’ll have to start treating each game like a playoff game. Give Alex Cora a few more bullets in his gun and let him manage as he has been over the past several weeks and has shown he can in the past, and I like this team’s chances.
The deadline is past, we’ve got two months left. Go ahead and call me a shill for ownership or whatever, I promise you I have no connections inside the organization apart from a friend who works in accounting and the occasional google translated Instagram DM exchange with Brayan Bello. I’m just a guy who wants to root for his favorite team and believe in something rather than scream that the sky is falling because they didn’t trade for Michael Lorenzen. Seriously, Michael Lorenzen? Listen to yourself.