Red Sox Rumors: Martin Prado a potential third base solution

SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 19: Martin Prado
SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 19: Martin Prado /

The Boston Red Sox are reportedly eyeing Miami Marlins third baseman Martin Prado as a trade target as the deadline approaches.

With the MLB trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Boston Red Sox are on the lookout for any available upgrades to the major league roster. Third base remains the team’s biggest hole, so expect the Red Sox to be tied to rumors surrounding any potentially available player who can cover the hot corner.

The latest comes form USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, who reports that the Red Sox are showing interest in Miami Marlins third baseman Martin Prado.

Prado would do little to cure the power drought in the Red Sox lineup. He has a mere two home runs this season and his career-high of 15 came seven years ago. What he does provide is a solid batting average that should remain sustainable due to his low strikeout rate. He’s also capable of piling up doubles, with at least 36 in five of the last eight seasons.

He has an above-average glove at third base and offers the versatility to fill in at second base or the outfield. Prado has some experience at shortstop too, although it’s unlikely the Red Sox would ask the 33-year old to play the position.

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Prado is currently hitting .283 with a .718 OPS in 30 games for the Marlins this season. The production is solid, yet looks spectacular compared to what the Red Sox have been getting from the endless cycle of third baseman they’ve shuffled through.

Red Sox third baseman are 13th in the league with a collective .226 average and last with a .280 OBP and .613 OPS.

Boston is currently platooning the pair of Deven Marrero and Tzu-Wei Lin at third base. Marrero is exceptional with the glove, but his defense is nearly negated by his empty bat that struggles to hit above the Mendoza Line. Lin has been a pleasant surprise, although few expect a player ranked outside the top 30 in the organization who jumped from Double-A to the majors to continue hitting over .300 at this level.

Pablo Sandoval will presumably be activated from the disabled list at some point in the second half. Considering he’s been awful in the field and at the plate, his impending return won’t prohibit the Red Sox from seeking upgrades.

One obstacle in acquiring Prado is his contract. Boston would owe a prorated portion of the remaining $11.5 million he’s owed this season. That’s palatable, especially since Dave Dombrowski recently revealed the team is under no mandate to stay under the luxury tax. While that may be true, Prado doesn’t seem like the type of player you break the bank for. He’s also owed a total of $28.5 million over the next two years, taking him into his age 35 season. That’s a lot to shell out for a veteran who could be heading for a decline, especially with top prospect Rafael Devers potentially ready to take over third base as soon as next year.

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A Miami team that isn’t ready to contend will gladly dump Prado’s salary and likely wouldn’t ask for much of a haul in return to do so. If Boston is willing to pay the price, Prado would provide at least an average solution at third base. That’s a significant upgrade from the league-worst options they have toiled through this season.