Red Sox: MLB trade deadline could alter postseason landscape

MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: Gary Sanchez
MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: Gary Sanchez /

Will the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees fill the void within their respected lineups that would potentially lead to a playoff run between the two?

With the 88th All-Star game in the books, the  second half of the MLB season is quickly approaching for both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. The half that may very well decide whether or not these two teams will make a push for the playoffs.

Right out of the gate in 2017, the Red Sox looked sluggish suffering from injuries, and the flu, while the Bronx bombers came out red hot standing out on top in the AL East. Now, the tables have turned.

With the resurgence of power between the young stars in the lineup, to Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz carrying the load within the pitching rotation, the Red Sox now stand alone at the top of the AL East with a record of (50-39).

As for the Yankees, with poor pitching, poor defense, and Aaron Judge being the only hitter to carry the load offensively, their first half stalled as they fell 3.5 games behind the Red Sox, with a record of (45-41) entering the break.

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It’s now crunch time for both front offices to make deals at the trade deadline. July 31 will be here before you know it. As for Dave Dombrowski and Brian Cashman, both need to make deals that could potentially make or break their playoffs chances come October. What trades do both teams need to make that will vill the void within their line-ups?

Boston fans knew the Yankees would always be a threat, but for the way things look now, if Cashman can make a big blockbuster trade at the deadline, New York will be legit. We all know the Yankees are NOT afraid to flash the checkbook as well. There’s two things the Yankees would potentially need to check off their list in order to make a deep playoff run.

The Chris Carter project failed this season for the Yankees as he only posted a sub .200 batting average for them at first base, so they need to add a glove at first with power. One player in mind, Joey Votto, the unfiltered first basemen could fit right in with the Bronx Bombers. Evan Halpine-Berger of FanSided suggested in September of 2016 that Votto could be, “just what the Yankees need to make the jump back to serious contenders in 2017.” That statement very well may come true come July 31st.

Secondly, pitching. Plain and simple, pitching is the biggest key to winning baseball games. I am not too concerned with the Yankees adding a reliever. With Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances not having stellar years like they normally would, I still believe the Yankees bullpen can carry the load. However, with Masahiro Tanaka having a down year, C.C. Sabathia having age catch up to him, and Luis Severino being inconsistent at times, adding a starter to their rotation may very well help their cause.

As for the Red Sox, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski should have one thought on his mind, pitching. Forget the third base fiasco, the Pablo Sandoval project did not pan out as many Red Sox fan hopefuls wanted it too. The Panda coming to Boston campaign does not fall on Dombrowski, yet finding a solution to part ways with him is a task he needs to quickly figure out within the following week prior to his return off the disabled list. If Worse comes to worse, Portland Sea Dogs third baseman Rafel Devers could be ready to fill the third base position come time for the September call ups if he’s ready to showcase himself as a true contender for the Sox.

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Having said that, in order to go deep within the playoffs and have the edge over the Yankees, the Red Sox need to bulk up either the starting rotation or the bullpen. Personally, I strongly believe the back end of the rotation is coming around. Adding Doug Fister off of waivers was a move that was satisfying. With Eduardo Rodriguez posting two solid rehab starts down in Pawtuckett, he’ll be coming just in time fully healed to help the back end of the rotation gain momentum with in the dogs days of summer.

Despite Rick Porcello‘s first half stumble, he’s showing signs of pitching like a Cy young winner, and despite David Price‘s drama with the media, he’s also showed signs of pitching like the David Price we went out and paid $200 million for.

What I am worried about is the bullpen. In order to compete, we need to add a veteran reliever or two. Craig Kimbrel is on pace to have a record breaking season despite his first year slump last year. However, manager John Farrell could use a solid setup man and another long reliever. Let’s face it, both Tyler Thornburg and Carson Smith may never see any action again out of the bullpen, therefore Dombrowski could clean that mess up and redeem himself.

Two guys who have been rumored as potential targets for the Red Sox are Philadelphia Philles right-hander Pat Nesheck and the Padres southpaw, Brad Hand. Both were NL All-Stars this year. According to MLB trade rumors, the Yankees have been linked to Hand. I strongly believe adding either Nesheck or Hand, even adding both could really move the Red Sox into the right direction to play October Baseball.

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Don’t be surprised to these two teams go head-to-head at the trade deadline. Either way, this MLB trade deadline could be the most exciting one yet for either teams. But, I’ll leave this open minded for both sides. Could this very well be a make or break trade deadline scenario?