Bleacher Report identifies multiple star trade candidates to replace Trevor Story

San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

Since Trevor Story exited the Red Sox lineup on April 5, defense has been Boston's biggest weakness.

The Red Sox have racked up unearned runs at a rapid pace in Story's absence. The defensive savant made stops in the middle infield that Boston hasn't seen on a consistent basis since Xander Bogaerts.

The Red Sox have been running with two minor-leaguers at shortstop, but with Romy González on the injured list, David Hamilton has been their best option, which is saying something. Bleacher Report tends to agree that the Red Sox need some serious help in the middle infield.

In B/R's latest installation of predictions, they suggest the Red Sox need to hunt for a shortstop before the trade deadline. Some names that were dropped may be intriguing to Sox fans.

By far the boldest of the predictions was Ha-Seong Kim of the Padres. He touts quality defense and a high contact rate with occasional power. The young star has overtaken Bogaerts as San Diego's primary shortstop and he'll either be hunting for a contract extension or hitting free agency at the end of the season.

Bleacher Report has some bold predictions for how the Red Sox can improve their infield defense

The Padres have been trying to cut payroll after spending in excess in recent years and a potential Kim contract extension may be out of their budget. If they try to dish him at the trade deadline, the Sox should capitalize. He's a quality young player who could bring a new level of trust to Boston's middle infield. The Sox have a lot of young middle infield talent in their farm system, but when the prospects arrive, Kim could serve as a good second baseman.

Willy Adames is another shortstop who will either hit free agency or seek an extension from his current club after this season. He has a similar skill set to Kim — he's a consistent hitter with sound defensive abilities and quality speed. Adames hits for more power than Kim, though, and he strikes out considerably less.

In 2023, Adames posted a staggering 16 outs above average, which ranked him in the 99th percentile in MLB. Any boost to the Red Sox's defense would make them a better team, but an Adames-level increase could change the game for one of the worst defensive clubs in the league last season.

B/R also mentioned Tim Anderson and Paul De Jong as options to help Boston improve its defense. Neither of the two shortstops has been a heavy hitter in recent seasons, but Anderson has a proven ability to hit for average which earned him All-Star nods with the White Sox in 2021-22.

Anderson wields a better bat but hasn't posted a positive OAA in a few seasons. De Jong logged nine OAA in 2023, but also ranked in the 11th percentile in MLB in strikeout percentage, so the benefit of his defense comes with some downside.

But the Red Sox have lost a few games due to sloppy fielding alone, and it's less than a month into the season. If Boston doesn't fix its defensive issues quickly — and external options seem like the best solution — it's destined for the basement of the American League East for the third consecutive time.

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