The Boston Red Sox have been linked to numerous trade targets this season, it’s time to include Mets closer Addison Reed in that count.
The list keeps on growing. The Red Sox are going to be buyers at the trade deadline, that much is certain, but what type of move they plan on making is still up in the air.
The obvious needs are the bullpen and third base. On Monday, we went over the list of at least six third basemen the club has been scouting. The list of candidates for the bullpen isn’t as deep, but it is growing.
Craig Kimbrel is arguably the best closer in baseball, but behind him, the Red Sox bullpen is proving thinner than many thought during the first half. Monday’s 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays was yet another example of why the team needs more stability in the seventh and eighth innings.
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Reed, 28, split time between the White Sox and Diamondbacks, before landing in New York part way through the 2015 season. He has 15 saves (two blown saves) this season, to go with a 2.47 ERA, 2.91 FIP, and 25.6% strikeout rate. It’s his first season back in the closer role since 2014, but there haven’t been any hiccups in re-acclimating himself to the position.
Obviously, Reed wouldn’t be expected to close games if he were to move to Boston, but his high-leverage experience would make him a confident option in the eighth inning role. Just one year ago he collected 40 holds in a setup position with the Mets.
For a more advanced look at his effectiveness as a late inning reliever, over the past season and a half, he’s collected 56 shutdown (SD) appearances and just 15 meltdowns (MD). Like saves and blown saves, SDs and MDs are a counting stat for relievers, except they strip away the complexity of saves and boil the stat down to the impact a pitcher had on his team’s probability of winning. Only Andrew Miller (58) and Kenley Jansen (59) have more SDs during that span.
Unlike prototypical closers, Reed features a 93 mph fastball, 86 mph slider, and 86 mph changeup. That hasn’t stopped him from striking out more than a batter per nine (9.3 K/9) or limiting baserunners (1.053 WHIP), though.
As expected, Reed’s dominance this season has driven up his trade market, especially given his status as an impending free agent. Bradford and Newsday’s Marc Carig have both reported that Reed is getting ‘plenty of interest’ leading up to the deadline. What that means for the Red Sox is surely a higher asking price, but it also raises questions about the seriousness of their pursuit.
Sometimes when everyone is in, no one’s really in. That’s surely not the case for Reed, who deserves the attention he’s getting, but this could be an instance where the Red Sox are simply doing their due diligence and driving up the price for their competition. Or they’re all in on adding an ace reliever. With the litany of rumors that surface on a daily basis, we won’t know until this story starts to gain more traction.