Red Sox core we expect will stay
Xander Bogaerts is locked up through at least 2026 on a team-friendly deal that pays him $20 million per year. Rafael Devers will be arbitration-eligible next season but he’ll remain a bargain and under team control until 2024. These star infielders are pieces to build around who should still be anchoring the lineup at reasonable salaries when the Red Sox are ready to contend again. It would take a massive offer that Boston couldn’t refuse to pry either away.
Christian Vazquez has cooled off from his scorching start but he’s proven that last year’s power surge was no fluke. He remains well above-average for his position at the plate and a strong defensive catcher signed to a bargain contract.
If the Red Sox were going to trade star talent at the deadline, J.D. Martinez is the only conceivable option. His slow start isn’t likely to worry interested suitors and the change of scenery to a contender might revitalize his bat. Martinez could opt-out to test free agency after this season so there’s some risk that they could lose him for nothing if he’s not dealt now.
On the other hand, if Martinez has given them reason to believe he wants to stay then the Red Sox should hold on to him. This club obviously isn’t going anywhere this year but we expect them to bounce back within a year or two. Martinez is signed through 2022 at a reasonable $19.35 million per year if he doesn’t opt-out. The Red Sox won’t be able to replace anywhere near his production without spending significantly more money to fill the void his bat would leave behind. Unless Boston is blown away by an offer, Martinez stays.
These players might not be considered part of the core of star talent on the roster, but the potential upside, cheap salaries and years of control should keep Alex Verdugo, Michael Chavis, and Jonathan Arauz off the trading block.