Short of landing Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas, who would be an exciting third-base acquisition for the Red Sox now that Todd Frazier is gone to the Yankees?
That’s the Red Sox’ dilemma.
Some say the Red Sox should allow prospect Rafael Devers to develop at Pawtucket and if they are still hurting for a third baseman, bring him up and take a chance that a 20-year-old can handle a pennant race.
We are not sure why the Red Sox passed on Frazier, other than they weren’t sold on him.
Dave Dombrowski is not going to reveal his hand.
“That’s for our internal discussions at this time,” Dombrowski said when asked if he believed he had a better option than Frazier.
Dombrowski said, “We had some interest [in Frazier] but I’m not surprised he went to the Yankees.”
The White Sox did not believe the Red Sox were serious about Frazier. There might have been inquiries and due diligence was done, but the Red Sox acted as if Frazier was not a top priority.
Frazier’s strikeout totals have always been high and he’s doesn’t hit well with runners in scoring position (.185 this season; .222 for his career). He struck out in a pinch-hit at-bat in his first game with the Yankees on Wednesday.
One major league source said the Red Sox and White Sox simply couldn’t agree on compensation.
“Sometimes when two teams make a big deal it means one of the teams has an extensive knowledge of the other teams’ farm system. The White Sox know the Red Sox inside and out, so they know what they want and sometimes that doesn’t mesh with what Boston wants to give up.”
Maybe that was true, but some White Sox sources said it never really got that far.
We know Dombrowski and his staff have had a few conversations with other teams about third basemen and relievers. According to a major league source, the Red Sox have had discussions with the Giants concerning third baseman Eduardo Nunez and reliever Hunter Strickland. Nunez isn’t a power bat — only four homers — but he has hit in the .300 range most of the season and has played a decent third base, although he’s not known for his defense.
Nunez has reached safely in 34 of his last 35 games, posting a .358 OBP with 24 runs in that span.
The Red Sox, according to another major league source, have talked to Miami about third baseman Martin Prado and reliever David Phelps. But Prado is on the DL with a hamstring strain.
The Sox also might have interest in Moustakas, but the Royals still appear to be buyers, not sellers, even after losing seven of eight games in which they’ve scored only 19 runs. Moustakas enters Wednesday’s action in a 6-for-28 slump with no homers and one RBI over his last seven games.
If the Royals don’t pick up the pace, they could make a late decision to trade away players and Moustakas could hit home runs at Fenway from the left side because he prefers to hit to the opposite field.
The Sox also have explored the Pirates’ David Freese and Josh Harrison. Freese could be had, but it would take much more to get the versatile Harrison.
There’s always the possibility we’re missing somebody.
San Diego’s Yangervis Solarte? Not bad, but if I’m Dombrowski I would never do business again with A.J. Preller, who tried to swindle Dombrowski in the Drew Pomeranz deal by withholding important medical information about Pomeranz’s elbow.
The Mets are ready to sell off Asdrubal Cabrera, but he’s not a big fan of playing third base. The A’s would sell Jed Lowrie.
Oh, there’s Philadelphia third baseman Maikel Franco, who got off to a terrible start but has started to hit again. He was once an untouchable Phillies’ piece. The problem with acquiring Franco is he’s young – 24 — and you wouldn’t want to block Devers’s path to the big leagues.
Short of the Royals selling off Moustakas, there isn’t an available third baseman you’d be excited to get.
Follow Nick Cafardo on Twitter at @nickcafardo.