5 difficult decisions the Red Sox must make

With the trade deadline two weeks away, some choices need to be made soon
Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom fields a question at the town hall during Red Sox Winter Weekend at MGM Springfield in Springfield, MA.
Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom fields a question at the town hall during Red Sox Winter Weekend at MGM Springfield in Springfield, MA. / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages
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It's no secret to anyone watching baseball this year that this Boston Red Sox team has been both riddled with injury, but in the same breath also so flesh with versatility and depth.

While the American League East standings leave the Red Sox out of the playoff picture by eight games, and the Wild Card standings leave them out by a game and a half, they are by no means out of the playoff picture. If the season ended today, yes, they would be out, but the season is by no means over: in fact, there are over 65 games left to play until the regular season is over.

You ask me personally, that's a lot of baseball. However, in the coming weeks, Boston will have a few things they have to figure out.

While the Red Sox have come out of the gate in the second half of the season rolling, takingtwo out of three from the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, and dominating the Oakland Athletics thus far - pushing them ever-closer to buyer mode at the deadline - they still have some difficult decisions to make.

Trevor Story and Chris Sale are getting healthy again, what do the Red Sox do about the ones in their spots?

Now, while Trevor Story is not just going to be thrust onto the active roster, Boston manager Alex Cora hinted that he may begin a rehab stint starting at some point this week in interviews with both Alex Speier of the Boston Globe and Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic.

Now even though he may not get put on the roster right away, this has the potential to put the Red Sox in a very delicate position come the trade deadline depending on where Story is at in his rehab assignment. There are two sides to look at when examining this.

The first one to look at is if he's close to returning. If his return is not imminent, it may be wise for Boston to consider shopping other shortstops like Yu Chang, promising young prospects like Chase Meidroth, and potential shortstops like Bobby Dalbec in order to bolster another position to see what they can get in return to help the Red Sox postseason push so they can free up his spot.

The second one to look at is if he's not very close to returning. If he or Boston determines he is not close to being back, or (worse) he has a setback during his rehab assignment, the club may consider holding onto one of the aforementioned players above to have someone in place until he does come back.

On the other side of the flip side of the ball, Chris Sale is also getting healthy and is looking to be close to a return as well. While it is good to have another arm in the roation, the real question is what type of a role the Red Sox will want him to play when he is back.

One option is to give him the Nick Pivetta treatment until he is back to full form: put him in the bullpen, have him back up starters, and eat up innings. That or limit his innings out of the rotation if he refuses to go that way.

Now if he decides, he doesn't like either option, Boston should try to unload him to a team that is looking to add a veteran arm. While they may not get much in return given his injury history, but it may be an avenue worth exploring just to prevent him from eating up a spot on the roster. Maybe they'll even find a team to eat up some of his salary.