BOSTON — The Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline only comes once a year. For many players, that’s enough.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Monday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park that he is being proactive in talking with his players leading up to Thursday’s trade deadline. It’s obviously a stressful time for major leaguers given the copious rumors swirling around, but Boston is pushing through.
“We try to do the best we can with keeping an open line of communication with each player that might be in a situation — or attached to a situation — to put their thoughts at rest as best we can,” Farrell said. “It’s about going out and trying to win a game tonight.”
Several Red Sox players have been the subject of trade rumors in recent days with Boston essentially out of playoff contention. The biggest name, of course, is ace Jon Lester, who is slated to become a free agent after this season, but other veterans, particularly those set to hit the open market, also could be of interest.
While such trade chatter certainly has the potential to be a distraction, Farrell is doing his best to mitigate any undue anxiety. His approach entails keeping players in the loop whenever necessary.
“I think it’s of professional courtesy and professional respect to the player that you (talk to them), and (general manager) Ben (Cherington) has been very much involved in this as well,” Farrell said. “You try to keep guys up to date if there’s anything that has legitimacy to a given guy or the fact that in many cases, if not all, it’s a rumor and to put their thoughts at rest. I think everybody just wants to know where they stand and what they might anticipate, so, that being said, that’s the purpose behind it: to allow them to go about their work with a clear mind.”
You can bet that 4 p.m. ET on Thursday — or a little after, considering last-minute trades always trickle in — will be met by many players with a collective sigh of relief. In the meantime, it’s all about weathering the annual storm.