The Boston Red Sox could go in any direction at the 2023 Major League Baseball trade deadline, with almost everything on the table as we approach Aug. 1.

Those in Boston’s clubhouse are leaning firmly on the side of buying, with multiple Red Sox players admitting they believe themselves to be a playoff contender. If they want to convince management of that, they’ll have to play better.

The Red Sox dropped two of three to the Oakland Athletics, capping things off with a 6-5 loss at Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday afternoon. The loss, which came against MLB’s worst team, served as a wakeup call.

“We have to keep winning series and make it close,” Rob Refsnyder told Julian McWilliams of The Boston Globe on Wednesday. “Obviously, we’re still (two-and-a-half) games back. But we have to keep it going. If not, then you can’t blame (the front office). It’s all part of the job and the business. We’ve been too inconsistent to get a good bearing on it.”

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Boston opened July on a tear, going 9-2 prior to the series in Oakland. That put them in fourth place in the American League East and in striking distance of a wild card spot. The poor showing against the A’s, however, has them looking to climb back away from the New York Yankees — who are in the division’s cellar.

“I mean, I look at (the standings). I’m not gonna lie,” Refsnyder said. “It’s hard not to. It’s your livelihood, and you’re looking to go to the postseason. I don’t know how other guys feel. I definitely look at it and check the scores and stuff like that. I’d be lying if I said I don’t.”

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If Boston hopes to actually make a run, the time to start is now.

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