Is Flurry of Late Moves Enough for Sox?
The Sox had been completely quiet until about 20-30 minutes after the 4pm trade deadline had passed, leaving all of Red Sox Nation holding their breath. The few moves the Sox made were not big splashes, but were small moves, 1 to free up a major league roster spot and 1 to bring in a catching prospect. Now that the Sox have now moved Ramon Ramirez and acquired Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the big question is, are these move enough to make a late playoff push?
The short answer is no. Saltalamacchia was a good acquisition, but he will begin his tenure with the Red Sox at AAA Pawtucket and will likely need to prove himself before making an appearance in the big leagues. Unloading Ramon Ramirez was great for the Sox, because now they can use his bullpen slot for Dustin Richardson (who was called up this afternoon) or Michael Bowden once the Sox are ready to bring him back up. Clearing a roster spot however, doies not make the Sox any more of a competitor than before. What does make them more competitive is outfielder Ryan Kalish.
Before learning about any of the Sox trades this afternoon, Jeremy Hermida was spotted leaving Fenway Park just 30 minutes before the 4pm first pitch of this afternoon’s ball game. We came to find out that Hermida had been designated for assignment to make room for the Kalish to join the Sox roster and make his major league debut. Despite a few clutch at-bats for Hermida this season, he has been terrible since returning from the DL and has a measly .203 in 52 games with the Sox. It was only a matter of time until he was moved or designated for assignment, so when the Sox realized he wasn’t going to be traded Saturday, they used one of his remaining options and designated him.
Kalish is a top prospect in the Sox system and across baseball and has both the offensive and defensive skill the team so desperately needs. Theo is hoping his talent and energy will light a fire under the Sox and as he has done in the past, he will be able to add a piece to the bullpen in August during the waiver period. Although the trade deadline is 4pm on July 31st, the waiver trade period continues and the Sox have proven they can pick-up nice additions during that time period. It gives Theo move time to evaluate the healthy Red Sox club as well, so he can correctly evaluate the team’s strengths and weaknesses. The downside is that the season may already be over by that point.
As they stand now, the Sox have 58 games left and watched the Yankees add big pieces like huge power-hitting first baseman Lance Berkman, outfielder Austin Kearns and reliever Kerry Wood. The Sox and Rays did not match the Yankees aggressiveness, with the Rays adding questionable reliever Chad Qualls. The Sox added 2 prospects, but didn’t really improve their major league roster, making me nervous for the remainder of the season. If Ryan Kalish plays well in the majors and motivates others to match his focus, Theo could be considered a genius, but if the Sox maintain or fall back more games in the AL Wild Card, Theo will be questioned about his inability to make a big move at the deadline.
Don’t be shocked if you hear Theo wheeling and dealing well into August, especially if the Sox can put a dent in the Rays AL Wild Card lead.