Red Sox Rumors: MLB insider speculates on potential Boston trade candidates

Atlanta Braves v Boston Red Sox
Atlanta Braves v Boston Red Sox / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox's 2024 season is still very much up in the air. The top two teams in the American League East have set themselves apart, but the Sox, Blue Jays and Rays sit in limbo — each carry records around .500 and can't seem to break away in one direction or the other.

If Boston falls out of playoff contention before the July 30 trade deadline, it'll likely seek to sell off some assets. Some will probably be dished, regardless.

Kenley Jansen is among the players most likely to be shipped at the deadline. The Red Sox tried mightily to trade him before the season began to no avail, and MLB insider Bob Nightengale reported that they plan to trade him before July 30.

Jansen has pitched to a 2.89 ERA over 18.2 innings of work. There are contending teams with struggling bullpens who could use an October-tested closer of Jansen's caliber. The reigning champion Rangers rank 26th in MLB in reliever ERA and the Royals aren't far behind. The Dodgers' bullpen has been good by comparison, but the club has switched its relievers in and out frequently, and they may be interested in a reunion with Jansen.

MLB insider Jon Heyman offers trade deadline predictions for Red Sox's Kenley Jansen and Tyler O'Neill

Despite Nightengale's confidence that Jansen will be traded, fellow MLB insider Jon Heyman believes there's only an "average" chance that he's dished. Heyman is rather confident that the Sox will try and trade Tyler O'Neill, though.

"Injury stalled his big start, but he’s back," is all the New York Post columnist wrote about O'Neill. He did have a breakout start to the season — he quickly mashed 11 homers for the Sox — but he's slowed significantly.

O'Neill is slashing .252/.356/.503 with an .859 OPS, which is still decent, but he's cooled down significantly since his early-season homer streak. The outfielder strikes out at a high clip and he's fanned 60 times in 43 games. He takes walks at a higher rate than he has in previous years, though, so his eye has improved with Boston.

O'Neill could help any struggling outfield on both sides of the ball. He's played a fine left field for the Red Sox and his bat could bring power if he hits his stride again. O'Neill did just come off the IL with knee inflammation, which could have played a part in his offensive slowdown.

Boston's record has been consistent for most of the season, but if it can break away in a positive direction, it may opt to hold onto O'Neill for a potential postseason push. The Sox could trade him regardless, though, because the outfield is packed — Rob Refsnyder, Wilyer Abreu, Jarren Duran and Ceddanne Rafaela would be more than capable of holding down the fort without O'Neill.

Heyman seems convinced of O'Neill's fate. Red Sox Nation will have to wait and see if he's correct.

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