CINCINNATI — The Red Sox last month traded five players who were on the postseason roster last fall. Could outfielder Daniel Nava be next?
Nava has not been placed on revocable waivers, according to major league sources, but if he is, the Detroit Tigers are a possible trade partner.
The Tigers are seeking outfield help and look at Nava as a low-cost solution. The Kansas City Royals also had interest in Nava before claiming Josh Willingham on waivers from the Twins and working out a trade Monday.
Nava hit .303 with an .831 OPS for the Red Sox last season over 134 games. He then appeared in nine postseason games and had two RBIs in Game 3 of the World Series.
Nava started this season in the same role, platooning in left field with Jonny Gomes. But he struggled at the plate and was optioned to Triple A Pawtucket after only 17 games and 67 at-bats.
Nava returned in May and lasted only five games before being returned to the minors.
But in 49 games since June 1, Nava has hit .301 with a .381 on-base percentage. There hasn’t been much power (two home runs in 226 at-bats this season), but the switch-hitter is effective from the left side of the plate.
Nava has only 24 plate appearances since the Red Sox acquired corner outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig July 31. His playing time could decrease further once Craig returns from the disabled list.
The Red Sox are planning to use Craig in left field and Cespedes in right. Nava, who has played only right field this month, would be left with little role.
By trading Nava now, the Red Sox would get something in return. The 31-year-old is eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season and would be a non-tender candidate given the crowded outfield.
Mujica steps up
Righthanded reliever Edward Mujica pitched poorly over the first two months of the season and was relegated to low-leverage situations.
But Mujica is working his way back into a larger role in the bullpen. He has a 2.08 ERA and 1.06 WHIP over his last 22 outings and hasn’t given up a run in his last 6⅓ innings.
Mujica pitched the eighth inning of Sunday’s 3-1 victory against the Los Angeles Angels.
With Junichi Tazawa struggling recently, Mujica could continue to get more important innings. He is signed for next season for $4.75 million.
The Red Sox optioned lefthander Edwin Escobar back to Triple A Pawtucket on Monday. He had been called up as long-relief insurance on Sunday. The team is expected to add another pitcher on Tuesday . . . The Red Sox open a two-game series against the Reds on Tuesday. The Sox took two games from Cincinnati at Fenway Park in May and lead the all-time regular-season series, 7-1 . . . The Sox, who won Sunday, have not won consecutive games since July 20-21 . . . The Sox are 19-32 against AL East teams and have been outscored by 56 runs in those games. They are 33-33 against all other teams, getting outscored by one run.Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.