The potential re-signing of Tyler O'Neill has recent Red Sox connections

Toronto Blue Jays  v Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages
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The Boston Red Sox trade acquisition of Tyler O'Neill was not the first time the franchise attempted to secure that elusive right-handed power bat. O'Neil could represent a franchise bookend, with Jimmie Foxx being the first in a deal highly influenced by owner Tom Yawkey's bankroll.

Was this deal another Wily Mo Peña swap?

The Red Sox swung a deal with the Reds and shipped durable righty Bronson Arroyo for Peña, who was noted for tape-measured blasts. The other part of the Peña equation showed up with Boston — wretched defense, too many whiffs, too few walks, and fan and management frustration. Goodbye, Wily Mo! This may have been Theo Epstein's worst deal.

O'Neill, like Peña, looked like he never missed a day in the weight room, but neither did Gabe Kapler. Gym muscles do not necessarily convert to baseball muscles. O'Neill had one noted season where he hammered 34 out and won a Gold Glove, but he has a history of injuries and inconsistency. Willy Mo, no doubt, would be a contender for the Iron Glove, so O'Neill is a big plus in that comparison. This deal elicited a big yawn from us as we expected O'Neill to be a one-and-done.

But at the halfway point, Boston has found something with O'Neill. His defense tightened the outfield and the home runs arrived. O'Neill has made a few visits to the IL, which is a previous critique of this deal. Now comes the conundrum.

BSI covered the possibility of re-signing free agent to be O'Neill in May. O'Neill is 29 years old, which is baseball prime, and certainly would not need Rafael Devers money to return, but knowing the new-look financial approach of the Red Sox, they may pass. It is time to revisit a similar mistake of the past.

In 2008, the Red Sox were a trainwreck at midseason, and a big part of it was Manny Ramírez, who was getting bat-weary, petulant, and approaching free agency. Manny, being Manny, was as stale as a month-old crueler. Hello Pittsburgh! Pittsburgh handed over a right-handed bat with Manny departing to the Dodgers as part of the three-way swap.

Jason Bay, like O'Neill, was a native Canadian, but unlike O'Neill, his bona fides were more extensive. He was a two-time All-Star and noted for some long-ball history of multiple 30+ HR campaigns. Bay delivered 36/119/.267 in his only entire Boston season. Bay also "delivered" a 25.4K%, offset with a 14.7 BB%.

The Red Sox did not re-sign Bay, and the inside scoop (supposedly) can be found here. Whatever the reason, Bay signed with the Mets, and his career went free fall. Will it be the same with O'Neill? We think not, but a trade issue is also a possibility, and you never know with the current version of the Red Sox.

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