The 2017 season for the Boston Red Sox reaches a critical juncture today.
It is the day of the MLB trade deadline and the Sox are likely to make a move. We just aren’t certain yet whether it’s going to a be a monster deal or something that’s barely worth posting on the transaction wire.
In addition to incoming or outgoing players, the incumbent Red Sox seem to be at a crossroads. Are they a World Series contender, or are they set to crumble in the final two months of the regular season? Right now, it’s a coin flip – especially considering that they are just 7-9 post-All Star break and are now neck and neck with the Yankees for first place in the AL East.
Here’s the latest on all things Red Sox.
The early returns on new third baseman Eduardo Nunez are terrific as he had two hits in his debut on Friday night, and he belted two home runs in his second game in a Boston uniform. Nunez was swinging a hot bat before Dave Dombrowski traded for him last week, but it’s highly unlikely he keeps up this pace. In other words, Nunez is not “the savior” for this team and Dombrowski will surely at least tinker with the roster on Monday.
The Red Sox have not been linked to A’s starter Sonny Gray, Rangers starter Yu Darvish or Tigers starter Justin Verlander much (or at all) in recent weeks – so it’s doubtful that Dombrowski trades for another starter.
If a pitcher is brought to Boston it will most likely be a reliever. The hot name over the weekend was Mets closer Addison Reed, as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported the Sox had significant interest.
Obviously the Sox’ offense remains lackluster and a big bat is needed. Despite Alex Rodriguez’s prediction a few weeks back, it’s not looking like Dombrowski will bring Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera to town. All has been quiet on the Miggy front for weeks now.
A big salary swap of David Price for Cabrera is nothing but talk radio dreaming at this point. Detroit is right there with the Red Sox for highest payroll in the Majors and would want no part of Price’s contract.
The lack of accountability in the Price – Dennis Eckersley mess by Farrell was disgusting, but in no way is it a fireable offense. One could easily make the case that the Sox manager has had his best “in-game” season since arriving in Boston in 2013.
It’s unclear if Farrell was the one who pushed Dustin Pedroia to speak up about team leadership and how the buck stops with the second baseman on Friday, but it’s at least a good sign that this glaring issue was addressed publicly by a veteran on the team.
Gotta think unless the Sox completely fall off a cliff in the standings in the next few weeks that Big Jaw John is here to stay through the rest of the 2017 season.
For the majority of this season, Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts have been average players. The Red Sox desperately need more out of their two young stars if they are to win the division and go deep in the postseason.
Bogaerts went 2-for-4 in the Red Sox’ 9-8 extra innings win over the Royals on Saturday and Betts had RBIs in the first two games of the Royals series. So, things are looking up for both players – but we’ve heard that song before this season.
“I think the biggest thing is we need for our guys here to get back on track,” Farrell said. “The guys (Bogaerts, Betts and Mitch Moreland) are here and we’ve got to get those guys back to their capabilities and a little more consistent.”