The Red Sox have been one of the worst teams in baseball this year. With a relatively large payroll and a handful of expiring contracts, the aging team was expected to either retool or shop at the trade deadline. They opted to sell, and in the process began an official rebuild. Here we review the trades that occurred while breaking down the deadline overall.
Phillies Receive: Heath Hembree, Brandon Workman, Cash, PTBNL
Red Sox Receive: Nick Pivetta, Connor Seabold
The Red Sox kicked off their dealing by trading away their closer as well as an additional reliever. They looked to capitalize on the value of Workman, who would be a free agent at the end of the season. Most of that value came from how he played in 2019, with him struggling this year. Both Hembree and Workman have played worse in Philadelphia, while Pivetta and Seabold have yet to play. Trading an expiring contract who hasn’t played well for a prospect who will be a top 25 in their farm system should be considered smart in most people’s books.
Padres Receive: Mitch Moreland
Red Sox Receive: Jeisson Rosario, Hudson Potts
Moreland has been having his best season in his career this year, but it was being wasted in Boston. The 34-year-old didn’t technically have to be traded yet as two years still remain on his deal. But Boston chose to ship him while his value was at its peak, and for two solid prospects. Jeisson Rosario is a 20-year-old outfielder who places 16th in their prospect rankings. Hudson Potts, who is only a year older, plays third and second base in AA ball while ranking 20th in the Red Sox farm. While Moreland was definitely good, it’s a debate whether he would even keep it up to the end of the season.
Rockies Receive: Kevin Pillar, Cash,
Red Sox Receive: PTBNL, Int. Bonus Pool Space
Pillar was only signed this offseason, and many expected him to get traded before the deadline. And after a 30 game span where he was on track to have the best season of his career, he was indeed traded. Pillar would’ve been a free agent this offseason, and wouldn’t have been signed with Boston beginning a rebuild. With the Red Sox getting a prospect, and additional money to sign international prospects, it is a solid trade regardless of the uncertainty.
Cubs Receive: Josh Osich
Red Sox Receive: PTBNL/Cash
Josh Osich has not played too often for the Sox this year, and when he has he played pretty poorly. He will be with the Cubs for another couple of years due to arbitration, barring another move. The Red Sox got a player to be named later or cash in return. If it’s another prospect, then Boston made another steal. Cash considerations would not be terrible either, but it’s far less valuable for a team bent on restocking their minor league ranks.
While a handful of players were dealt prior to the trade deadline, many more could have followed as well. Some of the heftier contracts, like Chris Sale, J.D. Martinez, and Nate Eovaldi, ended up staying. This is despite there being reported interest in said players, though a deal probably fell through due to their salaries.
Soon to be free agents Jackie Bradley Jr. and Martin Perez were expected to be dealt as well. It almost seemed certain after Brandon Workman, who also was on an expiring deal, was shipped away. But both remain in Boston, with JBJ potentially leaving in free agency for nothing. Christian Vazquez was also a prime candidate to move as he’s talented and on a small contract, while also being 30.
Boston made the right moves considering the direction they want to take the team. Sure, they could’ve gone even farther, but a few of those “survivors” could still be traded this offseason. The three prospects already talked mentioned above are already highly ranked, and a few more could still come in as a result of these trades. If there was one issue with the trade deadline besides not shopping more veterans, it would be not trading for any younger pitchers. Guys that maybe have played a couple of years in the majors and have been average up to the point.
There will likely be some prospect call-ups following the moves. 1B/3B prospect Bobby Dalbec has already been called up and played two games. We could see a pitcher like Tanner Houck(10th ranked prospect) try to fill the void of Hembree, Osich, and Workman. Maybe another position player like C.J. Chatham(14th) could get the call-up and receive some time at second base or as Bogaerts‘ backup.
The repercussions of this trade deadline will last for years and will test the willpower of Red Sox management and ownership. But the potential to lead Boston back to the promised land is certainly there, and the pieces they have acquired could play a huge part in it.
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