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Peter Abraham | On baseball

What was the Red Sox’ best trade-deadline acquisition? Freedom from luxury-tax penalties

It was a busy Monday for Chaim Bloom.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

The Red Sox made two more trades Monday, shipping Kevin Pillar to the Rockies and reliever Josh Osich to the Cubs. In both cases, they received a player to be named.

Colorado also kicked in some international amateur signing bonus pool space for Pillar.

It was the end of a busy stretch. The Sox sent Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman to the Phillies on Aug. 21 and Mitch Moreland to the Padres on Sunday before the two smaller deals on Monday.

Five veterans out, six prospects in.

The only disappointment was the Sox didn’t go further and find spots for Matt Barnes and Jackie Bradley Jr. or really shake things up by landing prominent prospects for Christian Vazquez.


Ben Cherington burned the house down to the foundation in the great fire sale of 2014. But Chaim Bloom didn’t go that far.

The Red Sox and Rangers reportedly considered a swap of bad contracts that would have sent Nate Eovaldi to Texas for infielder Rougned Odor. Both are signed for two more seasons, Eovaldi at an average annual salary of $17 million and Odor at $8.25 million.

An executive from another team suggested that sort of deal could be revisited in the offseason when there’s more time.

The Sox weren’t opposed to dealing Bradley, who will be a free agent after the season. But no contender had a glaring need for a defensive upgrade in center field.

Rumored to be a possible trade candidate, Jackie Bradley Jr. was instead in center for the Red Sox Monday night at Fenway.Maddie Meyer/Getty

The Sox also would have likely needed to pay down some of the $1.8 million Bradley has remaining on his salary through the end of the season.

“We know he’s a good player. We’d love to have him here for a long time,” Bloom said.

We’ll see how that plays out. The Sox could play Alex Verdugo in center field next season until Jarren Duran is ready. They also picked up an interesting center field prospect in Jeisson Rosario in the Moreland deal.


A short-term deal might make sense for both sides. But who’s to say Bradley will want to stay with the Sox? He’s learned how great it is to play in Boston during the good times and how miserable it can be during the bad times.

It’s probably going to be a while before the good times roll around again given the state of the pitching staff. But at least steps are being taken.

Chaim Bloom has been a busy guy the last few days.Maddie Meyer/Getty

“With some of these trades we’ve added more contributors that I think can start to form our next core,” Bloom said. “We still have work to do to continue building that core . . . we’re looking forward to putting more contributors in place.”

The biggest accomplishment Monday was that the trade deadline passing also meant the luxury-tax penalties the Sox have been incurring will reset for 2021.

That creates considerably more flexibility in putting together a better roster. That’s important as the coming offseason will be one where creativity will be required.

It remains uncertain to what degree fans will be allowed into games in 2021 and every team has already taken a financial beating with the loss of revenue this season.

“We’re in the business of staging mass gatherings,” Bloom said. “This pandemic has not been kind to our industry and it’s a massive crisis in a lot of ways for the baseball industry that we’re banding together to try and do everything we can to overcome. It’s hanging over everybody.”


The free agent market could be barren, even for the best players, and some teams may be compelled to shed payroll by trading stars.

Controlling costs this season and adding to their prospect depth has positioned the Sox to take advantage of the situation.

“It’s our job to make sure we’re aware of everything that’s out there,” Bloom said.

The final 25 games are unlikely to be pleasant. With Eovaldi on the injured list, the rotation consists of Martin Perez and four coin flips. And nearly every game remaining is against a contender.

Bloom said that the Sox would lean on the side of development as the season plays out. The remaining games offer a chance to further evaluate players such as Jonathan Arauz, Michael Chavis, Bobby Dalbec, and Yairo Munoz and see how many of those pitchers are worth keeping around.

The four trades opened playing time for others and the Sox should use that wisely. Munoz, once a productive player for the Cardinals before a falling out that led to his release, was called up Monday for his first big league time since being signed in March.

“We move on,” manager Ron Roenicke said.

Peter Abraham can be reached at peter.abraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.