The Boston Red Sox are hoping to throw a playoff party this season.

Maybe they should consider adding an old friend or two to the guest list.

The 2023 Major League Baseball trade deadline is scheduled for Aug. 1, and several former Red Sox players could be available thanks to their respective teams’ postseason positioning, a notable development as Boston looks to bolster its roster for a potential playoff push.

In an age where player movement is the norm, rather than the exception, reunions are not uncommon. Circumstances change over time, and just because the Red Sox parted ways with a player, for one reason or another, doesn’t mean they won’t consider adding him again in the future if it aligns with their vision.

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With that said, here are five former Red Sox players who Boston hypothetically could target before the MLB trade deadline.

Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Detroit Tigers
Rodriguez’s contract situation complicates his trade deadline status. The 30-year-old is in just the second year of a five-year, $77 million contract he signed with Detroit before last season, but the deal includes an opt-out this winter. As such, he could be a pure rental or whichever team acquires him could be on the hook for $49 million over the next three seasons. Big difference, obviously.

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In short, if Rodriguez pitches well (as he has most of this season), he’ll likely exercise the opt-out in search of a more lucrative payday in free agency. If he stumbles or lands on the injured list, Rodriguez might opt in to the final three years of the contract he signed with the Tigers. The former seems more likely — given his 2023 performance, relative youth and a ho-hum free agent market this offseason — but we just don’t know. And that uncertainty makes it difficult to evaluate his true trade value over the next couple of weeks.

Nevertheless, Rodriguez is a solid starting pitcher with whom the Red Sox are familiar. He’d fit into their short-term or long-term plans, although Boston might have to do some additional maneuvering if it would like to add pieces and remain under the luxury tax threshold for 2023.

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Rich Hill, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Hill said earlier this season he could envision rejoining the Red Sox “in some capacity” down the road. Maybe Boston should just bring him back to pitch.

Hill is 43 years old, and his recent performance with the Pirates (6.03 ERA over his last seven starts) isn’t anything to get excited about. But the crafty southpaw still has shown an ability to retire big league hitters, even at this stage of his career, and there’s no denying his clubhouse leadership. Hill is very familiar with the organization, having had several stints in Boston, most recently in 2022.

If nothing else, he’d help eat innings as the Red Sox piece together their injury plagued rotation, presumably at a low acquisition cost.

Joe Kelly, RHP, Chicago White Sox
Kelly is on the injured list with right elbow inflammation, but it sounds like he could return this week. He might not be long for the Windy City, though. The White Sox look like deadline sellers, and Kelly is a prime trade candidate given his contract situation and the annual leaguewide search for bullpen help.

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The White Sox hold a $9.5 million club option on Kelly for 2024, a sum that, while not totally unreasonable, probably doesn’t make sense for Chicago. Kelly has been OK this season, after a shaky 2022, and the South Siders might be inclined to move on before the deadline, saving a few bucks and potentially netting an asset or two.

Adam Ottavino, RHP, New York Mets
Would this move the needle? Probably not. But the Mets are stuck in no man’s land, despite their exorbitant payroll, which could lead to a fire sale. And Ottavino, despite up-and-down results this season, still holds value as a proven veteran reliever with late-inning experience.

The Mets might need to pick up some of the tab — Ottavino has a player option for 2024 — to acquire anything of substance. But it’s definitely a possibility, with the Red Sox a potential landing spot if they look for bullpen help.

Daniel Bard, RHP, Colorado Rockies
The Rockies made the curious decision last season to sign Bard to a contract extension during his career renaissance. He’s slated to make $9.5 million in 2024, a figure that could turn off teams, including Boston, unless Colorado is willing to foot part of the bill.

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There’s also some uncertainty surrounding Bard’s mental state, as he stepped away at the beginning of the season due to anxiety, and that obviously is of the utmost importance as the Rockies work with him and determine whether he’s a tradeable piece amid their rebuilding effort.

Bard, who pitched in Boston from 2009 to 2013, returned to the majors in 2020 after a seven-year layoff. He was Colorado’s closer in 2022 but mostly has resided in the middle innings since returning from the IL.

Featured image via Scott Taetsch/USA TODAY Sports Images