Red Sox Rumors: Unwillingness to trade top prospects foreshadows lengthy turnaround

Looks like Boston fans have to wait for the next wave of young players for this team to get back on track.

Miami Marlins v Boston Red Sox
Miami Marlins v Boston Red Sox / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

As trade rumors continue to swirl deep into the MLB offseason, we still don’t know just how aggressive new Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow will be when it comes to moving top prospects.

One major flaw of former Sox exec Chaim Bloom was that he lacked aggressiveness when making trades, especially near the end of his tenure when Boston teetered on the fringe of contention.

Armed with a widely respected farm system, Breslow has an opportunity to acquire big-league contributors by trading from his surplus of minor-league talent.

But will he?

Fans should temper their expectations about the possibility of a big move anytime soon. On Friday, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe wrote that the Red Sox are “content to let [the] top of the trade market pass them by.”

Red Sox Rumors: Craig Breslow unwilling to part with top prospects?

Speier also touched on Breslow’s disinterest in shipping away prospects despite Boston’s need for controllable talent at the major league level:

"The Sox have shown no willingness to include top prospects Marcelo Mayer, Roman Anthony, or Kyle Teel in deals this winter. […] The front office doesn’t see this as the time to deal elite prospects."

Alex Speier, The Boston Globe

On one hand, this stance is understandable. As much as the nature of Boston sports pushes the Red Sox to compete every year, they’re projected to finish in the basement of the American League East once again. In some cases, trading controllable prospects and future stars to improve a team that won’t even compete in 2024 could be seen as ill-advised.

On the other hand, though, the time is ripe for Breslow to make a splash, dealing from his surplus of prospects before the season begins. The Red Sox appear set up the middle with an infield core of veteran Trevor Story, rookie Enmanuel Valdez, and prospect Marcelo Mayer, which means they could absolutely afford to trade second base prospect Nick Yorke. The former first-round pick would be a welcomed addition for many clubs, and the Red Sox have a chance to capitalize on that.

Young outfielders Cedanne Rafaela, Wilyer Abreu, and Jarren Duran are movable, especially with Miguel Bleis and Roman Anthony emerging as top-tier prospects (plus Tyler O'Neill and Masataka Yoshida under contract for next season).

For now, though, that’s all pure speculation because Breslow reportedly doesn’t want to pull the trigger on a deal centered around Boston’s up-and-coming stars, even if it means he could improve the club’s chances to be competitive over the next few years.

Instead, the front office seemingly wants to wait, enduring a few years of basement finishes in hopes that it will reap the rewards of its patience when players like Mayer or Anthony debut a few years down the road.

Thus, without many big-league reinforcements on the way, Red Sox Nation should brace for another sub-.500 season that culminates with a fifth-place finish in the AL East.