Did the Yankees’ trades for Benintendi, Effross, Montas, and Trivino make the Red Sox sell at the deadline?
But would buying at the deadline be a fool’s errand? A fruitless endeavor akin to a drop in the bucket? Aside from June, when they looked like a good team because they mostly played bad opponents, the Sox have been outmatched all year long, especially within their division; they’re under .400 against each American League East team.
The first-place New York Yankees, in particular, were already tough to beat, but now, they look just about invincible. While they’re at least 11.5 games ahead of each of their AL East opponents, the Red Sox are down at the bottom of the division. Even before getting decimated by about a dozen injuries, the Sox didn’t have much success against their biggest rival this year; they’re 4-6 in the season series, and the Yankees have outscored them 73-46. And that was before the Yanks went big ahead of the trade deadline — and they’re still not done!
Last week, the Yanks acquired old friend Andrew Benintendi, and on Monday, they added Scott Effross from the Chicago Cubs and got Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino from the Oakland A’s. Montas has a career 1.83 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 19.2 career innings against the Sox, and of course, Benintendi called Fenway Park home for five years.
The Tampa Bay Rays are also wheeling and dealing, and the Toronto Blue Jays didn’t even need to make moves to score a franchise-record 28 runs in one game at Fenway in July. Their only division rival that just got easier to beat was the Baltimore Orioles, who dealt Trey Mancini to the Houston Astros as part of a three-team trade on Monday afternoon.
Almost exactly 24 hours before the deadline, the Sox finally made a splash as both buyers and sellers, trading Christian Vázquez to the Houston Astros for prospects and Jake Diekman to the Chicago White Sox for catcher Reese McGuire. They also acquired Tommy Pham from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for a player to be named later. When Bloom spoke to reporters on Zoom during Monday night’s game, he claimed they’re still trying to make the playoffs.
But if the Yankees are collecting upgrades like Thanos adding the Infinity stones to his golden gauntlet, does it make sense for the Sox to bother trying for an AL Wild Card, or should they simply be looking ahead to next year and beyond? The three Monday evening trades are a mixed bag; two prospects, a catcher under club control through 2026, and a 34-year-old outfielder on the decline.
The biggest roadblocks on Sox’ path to and through the postseason are their division rivals, especially the Yankees. With the number of holes on this roster, there is nothing realistic Chaim Bloom can or will want to do in the next 23 hours that puts them even remotely on the Yankees’ level.