fb-pixel Skip to main content

Red Sox remain active ahead of trade deadline

Outfielders Kevin Pillar and Jackie Bradley Jr. are both eligible for free agency after this year.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

The latest: The Red Sox have dealt Kevin Pillar to the Rockies and Josh Osich to the Cubs. Read more here.

With today’s 4 p.m. trade deadline looming, the Red Sox remain active in looking at potential deals in what has been a relatively busy market over the last couple of days.

Already, the team has dealt Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, and Mitch Moreland for four players: pitchers Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold, third baseman Hudson Potts, and outfielder Jeisson Rosario. Of those, Pivetta is the only one expected to contribute in the big leagues either later this year or early in 2021.

Advertisement



Seabold, Potts, and Rosario all are further away, with the Sox looking for players with the greatest long-term impact (or trade value) rather than near-term big league contributions. The approach represents a contrast to the flurry of moves when the Red Sox were last sellers in 2014, when they brought back almost exclusively players who were within a year of being able to contribute in the big leagues: Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig, Joe Kelly, Edwin Escobar, Hembree, and Eduardo Rodriguez.

According to major league sources, the Sox have discussed catcher Christian Vazquez with multiple teams, among them the Padres (who found the asking price too high and traded for catchers Jason Castro and Austin Nola), Mets, and Rays. However, Vazquez is an above-average player at a premium position who is under team control on an affordable contract through 2022, so the Sox won’t move him unless they get a significant return.

The Red Sox would trade Christian Vazquez if they received a big haul in return.Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

One evaluator characterized the Sox as seeking “a silly price that means they’re keeping him.” But one team’s “silly price” can be another team’s fair cost of doing business.

The Sox are likely to be most engaged in the bullpen market and in discussions of rental outfielders.

Advertisement



In terms of relievers, Matt Barnes may represent the most significant chip as a pitcher with a track record of success, two pitches that have proven capable of getting swings and misses this year, and an additional year of team control beyond 2020. The market for bullpen help is considerable, as the Orioles dealt righthander Mychal Givens (under team control, like Barnes, through 2021) to the Rockies for two highly regarded prospects and a player to be named.

That said, evaluators from two teams in search of bullpen help both suggested that Barnes — who generated many inquiries at last year’s trade deadline — may not be as sought-after as he was in 2019. His velocity and strikeout rate are down and his walks are up.

Still, at a time when most recent impressions matter, Barnes’s last outing Saturday was a strong one in which he exhibited good command of his 95-97 m.p.h. fastball and curveball.

The Sox could explore other candidates as well, with virtually anyone open for discussion.

Contending teams could be interested in adding reliever Matt Barnes.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

In Kevin Pillar and Jackie Bradley Jr., the Sox feature a pair of outfielders who are eligible for free agency after this year. The fact that both would be pure rentals — particularly in a season whose conclusion is not a guarantee — will cap their values, but as contenders look to round out their rosters for the postseason, both are defensive difference-makers with the ability to contribute in some role.

Advertisement



Pillar has excellent numbers this year against lefties (.286/.340/.551), and while Bradley’s overall numbers are below-average (.245/.308/.351), he’s been hitting well of late (.297/.357/.514 in his last 11 games), and a contending team might be willing to take a chance on trying to capture one of his hot streaks while knowing that, at the least, his defense would be an asset.

Lefthander Martin Perez also could be a consideration for teams in search of starting pitching, though the blister he developed in his most recent start could affect his value. Moreover, given the state of their rotation, the Sox may be reluctant to sacrifice future rotation depth on a pitcher who has performed well for much of this season and who has an affordable team option for 2021.

Where does all of that go? To be determined, but given the moves to date under chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, it seems unlikely that the Sox are done dealing.


Alex Speier can be reached at alex.speier@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @alexspeier.