Is Red Sox prospect Deven Marrero on his way out?


Ever since taking over as general manager of the Red Sox after the 2011 season, Ben Cherington has emphasized player development as the foremost method of building a team and has traded no significant prospects during his three-year tenure. However, given the Red Sox’ enormous offensive depth and weak pitching rotation, this could be the first offseason in which Cherington begins to deal away some of the young talent the Red Sox have assembled and Deven Marrero could be one of the first to go.

Cherington selected Marrero with the first draft pick of his career as general manager, taking him with the 24th overall pick in 2012. Since joining the Red Sox organization, Marrero has been a bit slow to develop but now 24 years old, he appears primed to begin his MLB career.

Always considered an excellent defensive shortstop, Marrero put together some solid offensive numbers to boot in 2014. In 68 games with Double-A Portland, he slashed .291/.371/.433 with 5 home runs and 12 stolen bases, his best offensive performance at any level in the Minor Leagues. And while Marrero did falter a bit after his promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket, slashing a meager .210/.260/.285 in 50 games for the PawSox, he cultivated plenty of optimism around his future with his stint in Portland.

However, despite Marrero’s strengths– being an excellent defensive shortstop who will likely hit enough to be at least serviceable– there’s just no place for him in Boston. Xander Bogaerts is expected to hold down the fort at shortstop for the foreseeable future and the additions of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez rule out the possibility of him sliding over to third base. Moving Marrero to any other position would waste his defensive talent at shortstop and, thus, the Red Sox just have no avenue to give Marrero regular playing time, making him most valuable as a piece in a Red Sox trade package.

And luckily for the Red Sox, Marrero has garnered plenty of trade interest. A strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, where Marrero slashed .324/.443/.414, has raised his trade stock and puts the Red Sox in a good position to cash in on his value.

Reports indicate that the Oakland Athletics in particular are bullish on Marrero and he would be going to Oakland were the Red Sox to make a trade for Jeff Samardzija. However, with shortstops a valuable commodity around baseball, the Red Sox shouldn’t have a problem dealing Marrero even if they’re unable to acquire Samardzija.

It’s always tough to say goodbye to a promising prospect like Marrero but, in his case, it’s likely best that the Red Sox trade him. He’s blocked time and time again within the Red Sox organization and he has the potential to become at least a solid regular, making him potentially one of the likeliest players to be traded in the coming weeks.