The trade deadline is about a month away and the Boston Red Sox will not trade reliever Koji Uehara because of old habits.
Remember when the Boston Red Sox had one of the best bullpens in all of baseball during the first few months of the 2016 season? Those were the days. Now we are considered lucky if they don’t blow a lead late in the game at least once a week.
Fan favorite, Koji Uehara was the latest member of the bullpen who blew a 2-run lead in the 8th inning last night against the Chicago White Sox. Uehara gave up back-to-back blasts in that inning. The first was a two run shot by Melky Cabrera and then a solo blast from Brett Lawrie. Koji’s performance earned him the loss last night and made the Sox extend their losing streak to 3 games.
The 41-year old veteran has not been the shut down reliever Red Sox Nation fell in love with over the last few years this season. With his ERA skyrocketing to a career worst 4.78, you would assume that he could be mentioned in a potential deal come the trade deadline, right?
Pump the brakes.
Now if I were in charge, I would 100% try to put Uehara in a deal. His inconsistency on the mound is just not what the Sox need if they want to make a run for the division crown. But the thing that scares me is the fact that the current Red Sox front office is afraid to let players go even after they’ve peaked.
I call it, “The Buchholz Effect.”
Earlier this week, yours truly wrote an article about how the Sox should have traded RHP Clay Buchholz years ago when he was wanted by other teams. Now, they would be lucky if they got a bag of balls for him.
For the past of couple years now, the Red Sox have been waiting for Buchholz to be the dominating pitcher he once was in 2013. But with multiple trips to the DL and just being straight up terrible, his interest from other teams has decreased dramatically.
I simply don’t understand why someone continues to “earn” a spot on the Major League roster because he was successful three years ago. It’s mind blowing to me actually.
Come late July when the Sox are talking to multiple ball clubs to, hopefully, work out some deals, my biggest fear is that they will be afraid to let go of Koji simply because of his success for them in the past. I truly think that with what Uehara has done for the Sox during the span of 2013-2015 will make him stay on the roster for the remainder of the 2016 season, which is pathetic for the Red Sox in my opinion.
Ever since being injured late last season, you have never seen the consistency Uehara once had the past few years in Boston. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy. I think his crazy antics in the dugout and likable personality make the teams chemistry grow. But with what he is doing this season, it is time to part ways with former closer.
I believe there is a team who will take the bait in believing he will be back to the old Koji, but let’s hope we can also get something valuable in return.