The Boston Red Sox need help in the bullpen. So much so they are looking at trade targets within the division. Should they include Toronto on that list?
With reports that the Red Sox are interested in Zach Britton, the usual “teams don’t trade within the division” hurdle appears to not be an issue this July. And with the trades of Brad Hand and Jeurys Familia, the number of places that Davd Dombrowski can pick up an elite bullpen arm are limited. That means breaking away from convention and doing things that aren’t typical because the team is pot committed and needs to pull out all the stops.
In this case, that could mean checking in with the Toronto Blue Jays about reliever Seung Hwan Oh. The former Cardinals closer signed a one year deal (plus a team option) with the Jays over the winter. With the Blue Jays not looking like a competitive team this year or next, they should be willing to part with the 36-year-old. He may be more expensive than Familia was, given the extra year of control, but it shouldn’t be more than the Red Sox can afford to pay.
What does Seung Hwan Oh offer?
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Oh was absolutely dominant for the Cardinals in 2016. He threw 79.2 IP with a 1.92 ERA, a 2.13 FIP and a 2.88 xFIP. He struck out 11.64 and walked 2.03 per nine. He regressed in 2017, seeing his ERA jump to 4.10 and his strikeout rate drop to 8.19 per nine. But he has bounced back this season. His ERA is down to 2.74 with a 3.07 FIP and a 3.75 xFIP. The K/9 is back up to 10.57 as well. He might even be a better bet than Zach Britton as a setup man. And as a bonus, he would give the team a viable option to replace Craig Kimbrel should the current closer sign elsewhere in the offseason.
The other big factor with Seung Hwan Oh is that he only costs a pro-rated $2M, which means that the team could, conceivably, trade for him and another arm like Ryan Pressly and stay under the $237M tertiary threshold. That would keep them out of the harshest level of tax penalties, and avoid having their top pick in next year’s draft dropping ten slots. All good things for a club with a finite window that is looking to rebuild their farm quickly. While there are no reputable sources reporting interest at this point, don’t be surprised to see Oh’s name pop up in twitter threads over the next week.
Would you be happy to see Seung Hwan Oh in a Red Sox uniform? What other relievers do you want to see Dave Dombrowski target? Let us know in the comments!