Red Sox: Chaim Bloom should target Sean Manaea this offseason
Chaim Bloom should bring Sean Manaea to the Red Sox
The World Series is set to start winding down as the Atlanta Braves take their 3-2 lead back to Houston in hopes of sealing the deal for the first time since 1995. While most of the baseball world has its eyes set on the Fall Classic, Red Sox Nation is already looking toward 2022. With plenty of players needing attention this winter, I think one that should get a solid look isn’t even on the team.
A few days ago, the San Diego Padres made a power play that shook MLB when they poached longtime Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin. The strangest part of the whole situation is the fact that Oakland had extended Melvin earlier in the season. It didn’t take long for the talking heads and experts to instantly begin speculating that we may be on the doorstep of an A’s fire sale, something that tends to happen every so often.
So, if this is the route that Oakland is heading down I think it’s the perfect scenario for the Red Sox and Chaim Bloom to go after one of their shiniest toys, Sean Manaea. The big southpaw is currently projected to make $10.2M in 2022 and will be a free agent in 2023. Even with Boston already having Chris Sale and the expected to return Eduardo Rodriguez, I think they’d be foolish to not even make the phone call to Billy Beane.
Red Sox Nation is no stranger to how good Manaea can be as gave Boston one of their only bad memories back in 2018 when he tossed a no-hitter against them. Oakland’s star lefty has that ability still in him and can more than carry the weight when called upon to do so. I for one would much rather have him pitching for us than against us.
Obviously, the key to this whole plan is Oakland actually looking to unload players before their contract expiration dates. Considering he has just a year left on his deal and another solid season could put him out of their spending range, it feels like the stars may align for a move to Boston for the southpaw.
Bloom has done a fantastic job rebuilding this farm system, and while it’s not yet what it once was, it’s strong enough that he could make Bean an offer he can’t refuse. For that to work, there would need to be some handshake agreement between the Red Sox and Manaea that would mean an extension after the trade to make it work Chaim sending over some of his prized developmental possessions.
Again, if the A’s want something before possibly losing the lefty for nothing, Boston’s CBO may not have to get Dave Dombrowski levels of crazy with the return. This is of course all a fictional scenario as we have no true proof from Oak Town that they’re wanting to sell the farm but it also isn’t so far-fetched either.
We all know that the Athletics have never been known for spending money and Manaea is more than likely getting a massive raise in arbitration, again stars aligning.
The 6’5″ lefty is coming off a decent 2021 where he was able to string together a 3.91 ERA through 179.1 innings with a 9.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9. I don’t hate anything about that whatsoever. I didn’t include his record due to the fact that records for starters aren’t the most important stat and with the A’s having a crap year, I feel like many of those losses probably weren’t on him.
What I liked the most about this past season is the fact that he led the American League in starts at 32 and complete games at two. He also led the entire MLB in shutouts with a pair in that column as well. With the way that Alex Cora runs the Red Sox pitching staff I think he could be a perfect fit for the rotation while the skipper continues to figure out exactly what he has in Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock.
The one downside of bringing Manaea to Fenway Park would be having so many lefties in the rotation. I mentioned above that E-Rod will more than likely, and should, receive his Qualifying Offer this winter, and we still have several years of The Boogeyman as well. So adding the 29-year-old would bring the starting rotation to a 3-2 split in the way of the southpaws, not the most ideal route to go.
The thing is when the two righties you have are Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta with the possibility of Houck and Whitlock sprinkled on top, it could work. In my perfect world, Cora would attach Houck to one lefty and Whitlock to the other.
This way we’d start with a dominating left-hander and then follow it up with a dominant right-hander to shove it right down the other team’s throats. This method could be expanded with the promotion of Connor Seabold as he’s more than ready to shove in 2022.
There is one red flag in Manaea’s history that should worry Red Sox Nation a bit and it stems off of that strong 2018 campaign. He had to have shoulder surgery that caused him to miss almost the entirety of the 2019 season.
While it seems like he’s all good to go from the injury, it could cause Chaim to not send over his flashiest trade package, but again, if Oakland is willing to play ball it may not matter in the long run. It could also lead to a smaller deal on Boston’s end for the lefty but still one that could see him play a pivotal role in another championship run in the near future.
While all the whispers and talk of an Oakland fire sale could be nothing more than fodder at this point, Chaim Bloom would be foolish to not at least make an attempt at Manaea. Adding another strong arm to his rotation, which was one of the weak points down the stretch, will only strengthen Boston’s chances next October. This Red Sox club is knocking on the door and a beefed-up rotation could be just what they need. Hey Chaim, why don’t ya just give Billy a call and see what’s up?