The Red Sox could go a variety of ways before Friday’s Major League Baseball trade deadline.
Everyone talks about pitching, and rightfully so. Boston could use a quality starter, and all teams need bullpen help. But also on the table is the potential acquisition of a legitimate difference-making position player.
With the July 30 deadline fast-approaching, we took a look at five position players the Red Sox could target in a trade.
Let’s get into it:
Anthony Rizzo, 1B — Chicago Cubs
There’s a reason you wake up every morning to a new story connecting Rizzo to the Red Sox: It just makes sense.
Bobby Dalbec’s struggles against right-handed pitching can’t be ignored. Rizzo, 31, isn’t the hitter he once was, but he still is a left-handed bat capable of doing damage. Plus, he’s a good defender and is a free agent after this season, so he won’t block top prospect Triston Casas.
Rizzo entered play Tuesday hitting .248 with 13 homers and 38 RBIs.
Joey Gallo, 1B/OF — Texas Rangers
There haven’t been any rumors (yet) about the Red Sox targeting Gallo, but the Rangers slugger nevertheless would be a great fit in Boston.
Gallo is arbitration-eligible this offseason before hitting free agency after the 2022 campaign. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it’s entirely possible Casas begins 2022 in the minors and/or struggles upon his promotion. Gallo, also a left-handed hitter, can play both first base and the outfield, offering the kind of positional versatility that Boston loves. He doesn’t hit for much contact — just a .211 career hitter — but he has 24 homers this season and leads baseball with 74 walks.
Starling Marte, OF — Miami Marlins
The Red Sox reportedly have inquired about Marte, who is having a great season.
A free agent this offseason, the 32-year-old entered Tuesday hitting .303 with seven homers and 21 stolen bases while offering Gold Glove-caliber defense in the outfield. He’s a borderline star player who would be an expensive deadline acquisition for the Red Sox, but also would serve as a strong counter to the Tampa Bay Rays’ recent trade for Nelson Cruz.
Obviously, adding a player like Marte would signal the Red Sox aren’t confident that Jarren Duran is ready for consistent playing time at the big league level.
Carlos Santana, 1B/DH — Kansas City Royals
Like Gallo, Santana is scheduled to become a free agent after next season. So, he wouldn’t be a rental.
Santana, an on-base machine, is having another Carlos Santana-like season: a .239 batting average with 17 homers and 61 walks in 416 plate appearances with the Royals. You know what you’re getting with this player — and there’s value in that.
He’s on the older side at 35 years old, but he clearly still can hit and would be a fine left-handed solution at first base.
Jonathan Schoop, 2B/1B — Detroit Tigers
This one might be a bit of a reach, but hear us out.
Schoop, a free agent this offseason, is having one of the best seasons of his career. The veteran infielder entered Tuesday hitting .288 with 17 homers and 60 RBIs in 98 games with the Detroit Tigers. He’s your classic deadline rental who won’t come cheap — but he’s really good.
Most probably would say there’s no fit on the Red Sox for Schoop, as he would need everyday at bats that would come at the expense of a player who deserves playing time. But we don’t see it that way.
Despite being a right-handed batter, Schoop, who has appeared at first base in 68 games this season, is hitting .274 with 10 homers against right-handed pitching. He also has made 22 appearances at second base, and during his career as seen time at shortstop and third base.
So, he could platoon with Dalbec. And, if for whatever reason the Red Sox need to put Kiké Hernández back in the outfield, Schoop could play second. He also could provide help at short and third on an emergency basis. In other words: There would be a way for him to play every day in Boston.
Just some things to think about.