Predicting the Red Sox starting lineup the day after the 2024 trade deadline

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Projecting the Boston Red Sox starting lineup can be an enjoyable exercise. And it's never too early to make post-trade deadline theories.

A lineup is rarely perfectly predictable. Naturally, inevitable injuries occur even in the finishing touches of spring training. Even the final product can change in the first few weeks, as noted in 2023 with Adam Duvall's unfortunate injury. Depending on the standings, a dramatic shift can occur during the season, such as the trade of Nomar Garciaparra in 2004.

Then there is the one area that constantly captures Red Sox fans' attention: a bevy of prospects. In 2007, Jacob Ellsbury revitalized the speed game for the second World Series-winning Red Sox team in the new millennium. The Sox need to find their modern Ellsbury.

So, what will the lineup look like on August 1, the day after the trade deadline? Will management have a fire sale? Will they make a blockbuster trade, or even a modest one? We'll take a shot in the dark to predict the lineup in August and September, and with any luck, October.

Predicting the Red Sox starting lineup the day after the 2024 trade deadline

The infield

There are three infielders whose spots on the roster are nearly guaranteed — Rafael Devers, Trevor Story, and Triston Casas.

Devers and Story are signed to long-term, expensive contracts that account for 32% of the team's payroll. Devers is a masher at the plate and a bit like Roger Dorn of "Major League" in the field. His baseball age is in that productive sweet spot, so fans could expect prodigious offensive numbers.

Story has much to prove, and Red Sox Nation fervently hopes that his right-handed power will complement lefty sluggers Devers and Casas. In 69 games at Fenway Park, Story has slammed 15 home runs and plated 50 RBI. Story is no statue in the field and can play quality defense at short or second. He exited the Sox's April 5 game against the Angels with a shoulder subluxation, but if all goes well with his recovery, he could be back before August 1. If he can't make it back in a reasonable time, the Sox could try and shop him — his contract is quite pricey, though.

Most of the naysayers have come around on Casas. The plate awareness and power are present, along with a devilish attitude. What is certain is he's locked into first unless the Red Sox are facing a Randy Johnson clone but his defense has shown flashes of improvement this year.

Vaughn Grissom will likely anchor second base. Grissom is an eerie reminder of Christian Arroyo, a former number-one pick who has accumulated an unnerving number of injuries. Grissom is not a guarantee, but after tossing Chris Sale to Atlanta, the promising infielder will be given ample opportunity to succeed.