It’s time to start asking the age-old question for the Boston Red Sox: Will they become buyers or sellers at the Major League Baseball trade deadline?
The Red Sox currently sit in fourth place in the American League East but hang onto the AL’s third wild-card spot thanks to an expanded postseason for 2022 and beyond. The 33-29 club dug its way out of the basement and climbed into legitimate contention.
Not only are the Red Sox playing substantially better than their 10-19 start. They’re also due to receive some internal reinforcements in the form of Chris Sale, James Paxton and Josh Taylor along with a recently hampered trio. Now, Boston has set itself up to receive some external help, as well.
ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle on Wednesday listed the Red Sox as “possible adders” at the MLB trade deadline.
“Boston has moved into the sixth slot in the playoff pecking order, which might be preferable to Nos. 4 or 5 in this year’s AL,” Doolittle wrote Wednesday. “Will Boston add even if it continues to tread water? It’s hard to say given Chaim Bloom’s measured approach to things.”
It’s hard to imagine the Red Sox laying down and playing for 2023 if they can stay in the playoff picture. While Doolittle might be unsure, John Henry’s clubs always have gone for the title when they’ve had a realistic chance. Bloom’s patience should not be mistaken for a lack of willingness to add.
Last year, Boston’s chief baseball officer took a beating from the media following the trade deadline, and then was proven right as the season progressed. He gave up a lesser-known prospect for Kyle Schwarber — arguably the best acquisition at the deadline in all of MLB a season ago.
Should the Red Sox tread water or exceed their current winning percentage, they should be considered buyers at the deadline.