Red Sox Rumors: Trade deadline update on Britton, Fiers and more
By Damian Dydyn
With the trade deadline fast approaching, the Boston Red Sox have their fingers in a lot of pies. Where do they stand with various trade targets?
This time of year is one of the most exciting for baseball fans. July’s non-waiver trade deadline is often full of surprises and jaw dropping trades, and this year has been no different. Brad Hand going to the Cleveland Indians, Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Jeurys Familia to the Oakland A’s (yes, the A’s are buying) and we’re not even in the final week yet!
This follows an off season where names like Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich were all sent out by the Marlins in an effort to rebuild their farm system. Never mind Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen both being traded to the San Francisco Giants. Or Matt Kemp finding his way back to the Dodgers in a swap of “bad” contracts. Then there was Gerrit Cole heading to Houston for Colin Moran, Joe Musgrove and additional pieces. Big names moving in trades seems to be a theme for the season, so it’s no surprise it has continued through July.
The Zach Britton rumors…
The Red Sox have been rumored to be in on Zach Britton from the start. The team has an obvious need in the bullpen and he is the biggest name remaining on the market. So the interest makes sense. That said, they aren’t the only team interested and talks are approaching the finish line. Where do the Red Sox stand?
Not great news for fans in Boston, but Dave Dombrowski isn’t one to let a player he truly wants slip away over some additional prospect capital. If Britton is his guy, expect to hear rumors that the Red Sox are making a late push. The cost may end up being high, but when the team is this good, can you really justify not going that extra mile to plug the most obvious hole?
Mike Fiers has another suitor.
Over the weekend, Sean Penney wrote about the Red Sox interest in Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Mike Fiers. The Red Sox got an up close and personal look at the 33-year-old right handed pitcher on Saturday night. The former Astros hurler threw 6.1 IP allowing 0 ER while striking out 6 and walking 3. He scattered 7 hits that night. With Eduardo Rodriguez hitting the DL again, it makes sense for the Red Sox to add a starter, but are they the only team looking at Fiers?
Not according to MLBTradeRumors.com. They updated their story on Fiers today with a tidbit about the Oakland A’s joining the mix of teams looking at him. While the talks aren’t considered serious, there are no signs that the Red Sox are close to landing him either. This is likely because they need to see how the Zach Britton negotiations play out before they can be sure about what prospects they have to offer. After all, the bullpen is a bigger need than the rotation.
Could Cole Hamels be the answer?
The Rangers seem determined to move him and we’ve written about the possibility recently. Nick Cafardo is now reporting that the Red Sox do, in fact, have interest in the 34-year-old lefty. Hamels is struggling this year, at least compared to his previous dominance. But he has post season experience and, more importantly, success. And his struggles appear tied to a massive jump in HR/FB rate, which we can probably expect to normalize going forward. In fact, his 4.16 xFIP might be a pretty good gauge on how good he is right now.
That’s a far cry from the ace he once was, but replacing Eduardo Rodriguez with a lefty who can give them a slightly higher than a 4.00 ERA the rest of the way seems like a pretty good idea. It’s a step down from what Rodriguez was capable of when healthy, but they could do far worse.
Red Sox interested in Drew Steckenrider?
A tweet from Jon Morosi indicates that the Red Sox and Marlins discussed a possible trade for 27-year-old right hander Drew Steckenrider. According to Morosi, the Marlins told the Red Sox that neither Jay Groome nor Michael Chavis alone would get it done. And that makes sense considering Steckenrider isn’t even approaching his arbitration years yet. After all, the gap in cost between Brad Hand, who is controllable through 2021, and Familia, who is a free agent this winter was vast. Cost controlled assets are at a premium right now.
That doesn’t mean the Red Sox can’t get a deal done for Steckenrider without including both Chavis and Groome. But they may have to sweeten the pot with a far off lotto ticket or two before the Marlins would say yes. It may also push the Sox toward shorter term assets like Britton or, perhaps, Toronto Blue Jays setup man Seung Hwan Oh, as we suggested here.
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In the end, the Red Sox are likely to land at least one reliever (and probably more) to help out in the late innings. Knowing Dombrowski, he will make a big late push for Britton. Whether it’s enough of a push remains to be seen. But either way, strap in. Because the deadline is sure to be sizzling hot!