Red Sox insider might be onto something with proposed Tyler O'Neill trade destination

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

Tyler O'Neill has been the subject of many a trade rumor involving the Boston Red Sox. The outfielder is posting his best season since 2021 and is entering a contract year — he could give any contending team the slight offensive push they need without breaking the bank.

NESN reporter and analyst Tom Caron recently speculated on what Boston may be able to get in return for O'Neill.

MLB insider named O'Neill as a potential target for the Seattle Mariners, who have a widening lead on first place in the American League West. Chicago White Sox Luis Robert Jr. has also been named as an option for Seattle, but Robert would be the more expensive of the two options, by far.

Caron mentioned that the Red Sox would need a few low-level prospects or a top pitching prospect for O'Neill. Such an exchange seemed a bit unlikely due to O'Neill's injury history, among other things, but his recent run of form may have changed that.

We will say, though, that the former proposal of lower-level guys is probably the best route due to the current state of Mariners' farm system.

Tom Caron shares optimistic hopes for Red Sox trade of Tyler O'Neill

The slugger has only played more than 100 games in a season once in his career, in 2021. While his 2021 slate was outstanding — good enough to earn MVP consideration — he's never performed close to that level again.

O'Neill's injury history has kept him on the sidelines. He's missed multiple weeks with the Red Sox with knee pain and a freak collision with Rafael Devers in the outfield. He's been more dependable this season than in years past, both in terms of production and health, but he would be too big a gamble to ship a top pitching prospect to Boston for. Caron's probably right on the money in regard to the Mariners' needs and the lower-level prospects solution.

O'Neill can hit for power but consistency isn't his strong suit. He's slashing .253/.348/.500, still with a nice .848 OPS, but he strikes out at a high clip. The outfielder ranks in just the fourth percentile in strikeout rate, but his 86th percentile walk rate makes up for it slightly.

The Red Sox could probably fetch a fine return for O'Neill before the trade deadline, but a top pitching prospect probably won't be possible. O'Neill has just a few months remaining on his contract, and most teams won't be willing to sacrifice such a piece for such a short spell of O'Neill's skillset. But there's still time to him to build his value if he keeps slugging like he's been.

More road games against the Blue Jays, please?

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