Bleacher Report trade deadline predictions don't solve many problems for Red Sox

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Many fans and reporters expected the Boston Red Sox to have to address pitching insufficiencies at the trade deadline. One-quarter of the way through the season, pitching is the least of Boston's worries.

In April, defense was the Red Sox's biggest issue, and they still hold the title for the most unearned runs allowed this season. After Ceddanne Rafaela moved to shortstop and Vaughn Grissom made his Sox debut at second base, the defense has cleaned up well, but the bats have stalled.

Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report offered some ideal trade candidates if Boston becomes a buyer at the deadline. He made three predictions in three different price ranges, but none seem like likely targets for the Sox in regard to the fit.

Reuter floated Willy Adames as the biggest name Boston could target. The shortstop would absolutely help fix the Sox's middle-infield defense — he's logged four outs above average so far this season. Adames also wields a strong bat and he's blasted seven homers in 48 games for the Brewers.

But, as Reuter noted, Adames would be an expensive "blockbuster" choice. The Red Sox's farm system is also packed with middle-infield talent, and if they plan to hold onto Trevor Story's contract next season, adding another shortstop should be the least of their worries.

Bleacher Report listed Amed Rosario as a reasonable candidate. The utility player signed with the Rays after he spent the second half of the 2023 season with the Dodgers and he beat up the Red Sox with a three-RBI performance on May 13.

Rosario is slashing .298/.312/.417 with six doubles, three triples and two homers. Boston's outfield is already packed and he wouldn't solve any middle infield issues that might be of concern at the moment. Plus, the Red Sox have already struggled to find consistent homes for Wilyer Abreu, Rob Refsnyder, Jarren Duran, Tyler O'Neill, Ceddanne Rafaela, and, on occasion, Masataka Yoshida. Rosario revealed that the Red Sox were interested in signing him this offseason, and he would've been a fine choice had they not signed O'Neill.

Bleacher Report's ideal trade candidates for the Red Sox wouldn't help their offense much

Finally, Reuter suggested Vidal Bruján as a fit for the Sox. The Marlins are expected to have a fire sale this July and Boston would be able to trade for Bruján rather inexpensively. The infielder is just 26 years old and he remains under team control through the 2028 season.

Bruján is having his best year yet at the plate and he's slashing .265/.333/.398. He has collected just 26 hits this season, but nine of them have gone for extra bases. He is yet another shortstop, though, and his defense isn't much better than Boston's current options. Bruján has logged negative four OAA so far this season.

Of Bleacher Report's recommendations, Rosario is probably the best choice for Boston. He is versatile enough to flex between the outfield and infield on defense and the Red Sox wouldn't have to sacrifice too much for him (he'll be a free agent after this season).

Boston is in a tough spot overall — there's no telling yet when Yoshida and Triston Casas will return to the lineup, but the Red Sox need someone who can hit as consistently as they do. The Sox still have months to determine what they need this July, but a strong, consistent bat with a reasonable price tag should be near the top of the list.

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