The second basemen.
This may be the most obvious possibility. The Red Sox need a second baseman. Badly. Dustin Pedroia’s status is difficult to assess, and even if Holt isn’t out long, he’s better utilized bouncing around the field. Enter Brian Dozier. Dozier is a free agent this winter and is typically a big second half hitter. Over the last three seasons he’s finished with 28, 42 and 34 home runs. For his career he has a 118 wRC+ in the second half versus a 103 in the first. Last season it was 95 and 158. The year before it was 109 and 155. You can see the pattern here. This is a great time to buy in on Dozier and the fact that he’s a rental means the cost shouldn’t be too high. Manny Machado got moved without a single top 50 prospect heading to Baltimore. That means the Red Sox have the chips to make this work.
It’s perhaps a bit less likely, but they could be scouting Whit Merrifield. The Kansas City second baseman isn’t even arbitration eligible yet, but he is 29 years old and will likely be declining by the time the Royals are good again. His value will never be higher than it is today, which means the Red Sox would have to part with one of their few highly regarded trade chips. That means Michael Chavis or Jay Groome. It might be a price not worth paying, but Merrifield gives the Red Sox a hedge against Pedroia’s knee not recovering enough to get back on the field next season, and great depth to pair with Brock Holt. Merrifield offers great speed on the base paths and flashed intriguing power in 2017. Even so, Brian Dozier appears to be the better option of the two, all things considered.
What will they come away with?
It’s possible they won’t trade for any of these names. Frank Wren being there means Dombrowski has his eye one someone playing in this series, but that’s far from a guarantee that a deal is imminent. And it’s probably far more likely than not that if a deal is coming, it’s for one of these names, and not a combination of them. But I’m going to put on my optimistic hat and hope that we’ll see an announcement that the Red Sox have traded for Brian Dozier, Ryan Pressly and Fernando Rodney. I can dream, right?
What do you think the Red Sox are looking at in Kansas City this weekend? Any other names worth considering? Let us know in the comments!