Red Sox are buyers: 5 affordable trades to make at the deadline

A recent win streak has the Boston Red Sox in playoff position. Could a timely trade put them over the top?

Just a few weeks ago, the Red Sox were in the cellar of the AL East. Xander Bogaerts future beyond the trade deadline was in jeopardy.

Suddenly, Boston is over the .500 mark and sit in the third Wild Card position in the American League. That would be good enough to make the playoffs, if they were to start today.

Per The Baseball Insiders podcast, Boston is considered a buyer by many around the league. Expect the front office to execute that approach come Aug. 2, assuming they remain in a similar spot in the standings.

Red Sox: 5 trades to make at the deadline

  1. Trey Mancini: Trading in-division isn’t as taboo as it used to be. Mancini is in a contract year, and is slashing .304/.379/.446. He’d slide right into first base, allowing the Red Sox to avoid rushing Triston Casas up to the majors. Bobby Dalbec has been brutal this season, and is hitting under the Mendoza line. Enough is enough.
  2. Josh Bell: Another answer at first base could be Bell. Also in a contract year, Bell is slashing .305/.378/.423. Bell offers a little more power than Mancini, and could be a good ballpark fit in Boston’s Fenway Park. Simply put, expect the Red Sox to upgrade at first base if they plan on being competitive in the second half.
  3. Michael Fulmer: Fulmer has some closing experience with the Tigers, and could manage that role in Boston if they prefer. Matt Barnes sure didn’t get it done on the back end. Either way, the Sox need some help in the later innings. The veteran Fulmer currently serves that role in Detroit, where he sets up closer Gregory Soto. He’s also a free agent at the end of the season, and would cost significantly less than an established closer.
  4. Jose Quintana: We’re headed back to Pittsburgh here. Quintana has been a surprising turnaround candidate this season, and he’s on an affordable one-year deal for Pittsburgh. He was picked up exclusively for this purpose. He doesn’t fit the Pirates competitive window, which isn’t near open. The Bucs could use some system capital, and the Red Sox can provide that in the form of a mid-tier prospect.
  5. Tyler Mahle: Yes, more pitching help. Mahle’s numbers don’t look great right now — he has an ERA over 5. However, recent trends suggest that’ll improve. Over his last three starts, he’s gone 18 innings, giving up just 4 runs and striking out 24. Now is the time to strike in a trade for Mahle, as if he keeps trending in this direction he’ll be far more expensive come August.

There you have it. The Red Sox don’t have to trade their entire farm system to improve. Rather, they can make a playoff run with a roster constructed on the cheap by Chaim Bloom himself.

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