Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia still dealing with knee pain
Scooter Gennett or Dee Gordon, then?
Let’s get realistic here. Even if the Mariners decide they aren’t going to the playoffs (despite having a firm grasp on the second wild card slot), Dee Gordon isn’t the guy. He’s got an 85 wRC+ on the year. Sure, the 19 swipes are nice, but with Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and eventually a healthy (hopefully) Eduardo Nunez on the roster, they’re not hurting for steals. No, Scooter Gennett is the more likely acquisition either way.
Gennett has a 144 wRC+ for the last place Reds, with 14 HR and below average defense at second. Whether he’s worse than Nunez with the glove is debatable. But the offense is clearly better, even after we consider the .387 BABIP. He’s making $5.7M this season as an arbitration 2 player. That means he has one more season of semi-cost control left before hitting free agency. And, a pro-rated $5.7M could be as little as $1.9M. That means with a little outgoing payroll, they could stay below that $237M. (Cot’s Baseball Contracts has the Red Sox at $235,325,600.00 so far.)
There are additional mitigating factors, however.
The Red Sox are in dire need of some bullpen help. So even if they can keep a Scooter Gennett acquisition from pushing them into the highest penalty bracket, the additional needs would surely do them in. That means Dave Dombrowski has to come to the conclusion that going that far with the team’s payroll is worth the penalty.
Additionally, the acquisition of Scooter Gennett will not come terribly cheap. Even in a buyer’s market, he’s likely to cost something of some significance. And prospects with significant value are a rarity in Boston these days. The only way a package for Gennett is going to come together is if the Reds really like one of Boston’s on-the-shelf prospects like MIchael Chavis or Jay Groome. Chavis is serving an 80 game suspension for PED use, and Jay Groome is recovering from Tommy John surgery. Neither seems likely to be headlining a deal this summer. Perhaps the Reds are high on Josh Ockimey or Jalen Beeks, though. Both are having excellent minor league seasons. They could also gamble on Bobby Dalbec’s 132 wRC+ with 14 HR in high-A Salem. His power is legitimate, but it’s a three true outcomes approach which is tough to maintain.