Red Sox Predictions: Three potential trade chips during the 2018 season
By Rick McNair
Dave Dombrowski of the Boston Red Sox is also known as Dealin’ Dave. Will DD make a move during the season? Here are three possibilities to go elsewhere.
President Trump cannot help himself regarding Twitter and Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski can’t resist the siren call of the magical five letter word – trade! I would wager on Syphilis managing to corral that boulder before Dombrowski takes the no-trade pledge. Trading is his elixir if history is any indication and the target is usually youthful, but there are exceptions.
Just who will go when Dombrowski must respond to the irresistible urge?
The Red Sox have a bounty on youthful and talented players. In the world of GM’s or presidents of baseball operations, everyone is expendable if the possibility for team improvement exists. One must look at replacement value, need, contract issues, payroll, minor league talent and that is just the short list.
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What has happened to Sam Travis? Suddenly Travis has developed into a home run threat. If body mass is an indicator that would be a given, but Travis has never really had that home run pop. The right-handed hitter has never reached double-digits in home runs. At Pawtucket in 2016, Travis slammed just six in 82 games.
At 24-years-old, Travis – apparently fully recovered from a horrendous knee injury – is a first baseman by trade, but the Red Sox have shown an inclination to have a bit of outfield in his future.
Still highly regarded – number five on Red Sox Prospect Watch – Travis could be bait or he could stay. Staying would mean the possible deletion of Hanley Ramirez from the roster. A pricey move, but after the demise of Pablo Sandoval, it cannot be dismissed. A Travis and Mitch Moreland combination at first base?
This spring Xander Bogaerts appears to be back on the track that resulted in two Silver Slugger Awards and an All-Star selection. Still, just 25-years-old, Bogaerts could return (finally) that home run promise of 2016. Bogaerts is a free agent in two seasons and his value may escalate enough to provide the temptation to trade and avoid a future payroll hit.
The issue with Bogaerts is a simple one – replacement value. Just who takes over at short? Brock Holt? Tzu-Wei Lin? Someone unknown? The obvious choice would be Eduardo Nunez when Dustin Pedroia is finally able to go at second base. Much – of course – is based on needs as the season moves forward and they become clear.
The trade possibility for Jackie Bradley was nothing earth-shattering as it was a topic all winter. With the acquisition of J.D. Martinez and the recent use of Andrew Benintendi in center this spring, a trade reality may grab some significant traction.
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The downgrade in a move of Bradley is defense. No one is expecting a Gold Glove from Martinez and JDM would be in left. Good luck! His defensive liabilities have been well documented, but that power certainly diminishes that concern considerably.
Is any of this possible? With DD anything is possible.