It’s been almost a week since the MLB’s Trade Deadline has passed. From June 30 to August 1 (Deadline Day), there were 62 deals made throughout the league. Some teams were buyers to help their playoff push, while others sold to build up their farm systems/lessen their payroll.
The Red Sox were thought of as a team that would be a buyer, instead of a seller. But that wasn’t the case. GM Chaim Bloom instead made only three moves, that were neither a sell or a buy.
They sent INF/OF Kike Hernandez back to the Dodgers, who seem to be the Red Sox favorite trade partner. Then they sent a RHP prospect, Marques Johnson, to the Giants for a bullpen arm in RHP Mauricio Llovera. Lastly, just as the bell sounded to wrap up the Trade Deadline, they acquired INF Luis Urias from the Brewers for their #37 prospect, RHP Bradley Blalock.
But a mostly quiet deadline shouldn’t send Red Sox fans into a frenzy of any kind. The Sox sit at 57-51, and while they are 9.5 GB from the AL East Division Lead. They are only 2.0 GB of a Wild-Card spot. There is still plenty of time for them to sneak their way into the postseason. There are two reasons, in my opinion, why Chaim Bloom didn’t buy “high” this deadline. The Sox Farm System, and top players returning from injury soon.
Below, I will make a case of why keeping what they got for the most part, wasn’t a totally bad idea. And what the future could look like for this team.
The two biggest needs for the Sox going into the Deadline were middle infield and starting rotation help. Out of the 62 trades made, there weren’t that many involving guys who could help the Sox in those two spots right away. As for starting pitchers, seemingly only 10 trades involved a guy who could help the team out immediately in that spot. While only 4 trades involved any middle infielders that would make an impact, to push the team towards the playoffs.
When there isn’t an abundance of availability, sometimes it’s smarter to stay put. Especially with some of the asking prices being thrown around for the players involved in the 14 trades mentioned above.
The Red Sox Injury list at this moment in time is longer than they want it to be, but soon enough it will be dwindled. And some big names will be making their return. That includes: LHP Chris Sale, SS/2B Trevor Story, RHPs Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houck. All four of those guys, will almost certainly make an impact in their own way.
Sale, has come out and said that he is willing to help in any role possible. If they were even to ask him to come out of the bullpen in the 7th inning, Sale’s response is “I’m in”.
Sale and Story have already started their Minor League rehab assignments. Story, has several RBIs along with a couple home runs in his first seven games with the WooSox in Triple-A. Which is great to see. Sale also had a promising first rehab game. Allowing only one hit, 2 BBs and garnering 3 Ks in two innings (40 pitches).
Those two should be able to come back by mid-late this week. With the Sox still being in the mix for a Wild-Card spot, it’s perfect timing. As for Whitlock and Houck, they have yet to start their rehab assignments. But they shouldn’t be too far behind Story and Sale. The two young arms, could help out the rotation, or be middle-long relief bullpen arms upon their return.
Let’s take a look into the near future (hopefully), and observe what the Sox Farm System has to offer. Fangraphs.com currently has the BoSox Farm System ranked #3 in the league. Part of the reason, has to be that the bulk of their top prospects, fill position needs they have now, in the future. Most notably, the organizations #1 prospect SS Marcelo Mayer.
Mayer, has shot up the minor league ranks quickly. After being drafted top 10 back in 2021 by Boston, the 20 year old is already at Double-A Portland. While he isn’t having the greatest season at the plate, SoxProspects.com has his ETA in the MLB as Late 2024. A lot can happen in a year, this team could look a whole lot different. But a guy who was drafted barely two years ago, being projected to come up just next season. That should be a promising sign for Red Sox Fans.
#3 prospect OF/SS Cedanne Rafaela has been lighting up the Woo-Sox scoreboard as of late. In just 26 games in Triple-A, Rafaela has 7 home runs. That’s more home runs than in two times the amount of games for Double-A Portland. The 22 year old Curacao native, is currently slashing .324/.365/.630 since coming to Worcester. His defensive ability and versatility (infield and outfield) also make him stand out from the pack. Not to mention, make him a better fit for what the Red Sox are currently working with. While SoxProspects.com has his ETA as early 2024, if Boston is still solidly in the playoff hunt, I could see him being a September call up this season.
Of course, a quiet Trade Deadline wasn’t the best thing to see for some from the BoSox. But as you can see from everything mentioned above, there isn’t a whole lot of cause for concern. More so, there’s still hope for this season, but especially beyond.