The Boston Red Sox find themselves in a difficult position when it comes to the future of the franchise. After getting off to a slow start in 2022, the Red Sox have rebounded and now find themselves back in the chase for a playoff spot in the American League. Despite that, they have a difficult path towards a championship, as there simply may not be enough talent on the roster to win a World Series.
At 33-29, the Red Sox are running out of time to make a run before they may have to accept the reality of their situation. Despite being above .500, Boston sits in fourth place in the loaded AL East, and is still 12.5 games behind the Yankees.
With some key players set to hit free agency in the offseason, it may be time for the Red Sox to enter a small rebuild, or perhaps a retool, in order to better position themselves for a title chase a few years down the line.
With that in mind, here are three reasons the Red Sox should be sellers at the 2022 MLB Trade Deadline.
3 reasons Red Sox should be sellers at the MLB trade deadline
3. Xander Bogaerts’ contract situation
With Xander Bogaerts still unsigned beyond this season, the Red Sox have to accept that there’s a real chance he will leave the team in free agency. Should that be the case, Boston would be wise to offload him at the trade deadline. There would be no more valuable trade piece in all of MLB than Bogaerts if the Red Sox decided to sell at the deadline, and they could get back some talented young assets from a team hungry to improve at shortstop.
Of course, it’s still possible that the two sides could come to an agreement on a long-term extension, but it may actually be more pertinent for the Red Sox to part ways with Bogey in order to add some young prospects to the farm, which is regarded as being in the middle of the pack. Getting some high-upside, near-MLB-ready farmhands in exchange for Bogaerts could be the smart move for Boston, regardless of his contract situation.
2. Valuable trade pieces
In addition to Bogaerts, the Red Sox have a handful of other players who could potentially be used as trade pieces if they want to enter a small rebuild. The likes of Michael Wacha, Nick Pivetta, and Rich Hill are all playing on expiring contracts, and could be deemed valuable assets for a team looking to bolster the back-end of their rotation. Wacha has maintained a stellar 2.33 ERA throughout the season, so his value will be sky-high come the trade deadline. Pivetta is only making a bit over $2.5 million this season, which will make him fairly easy to move, and he’s been a reliable arm for the Red Sox.
Considering the uncertainty surrounding Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi, both of whom are on IL, the Red Sox may consider looking to bring in some younger arms at the trade deadline while moving on from some of their veteran offseason acquisitions.
*Watch MLB Games LIVE with fuboTV (click for free trial)*
1. AL East may be too loaded to compete in
The Red Sox are not a bad team, by any means, but they’re plagued by the misfortune of playing in baseball’s most top-heavy division. All of the Yankees, Rays, and Blue Jays have realistic World Series aspirations, and despite the Red Sox’s 33-29 record, they find themselves in fourth place. The Yankees are 12.5 games ahead of the Red Sox, who also trail the Blue Jays and Rays by 3.5 and 2.5 games, respectively.
In any other division, the Red Sox would be at the forefront battling it out for the division lead, but instead, they find themselves playing catchup in a loaded AL East. They’ve caught up to Tampa and Toronto but needed an impressive hot streak in order to do so, something that’s likely unsustainable. It seems unlikely that the Red Sox can pose a serious threat to take down the Yankees in the division, which would mean their best bet at reaching the playoffs would be via a Wild Card spot. If they can’t improve their positioning in the division ahead of the deadline, the Red Sox may need to face a difficult reality and make some trades at the deadline.