The Major League Baseball trade deadline is just over a month away, and the Boston Red Sox find themselves in the thick of a division race. Should Chaim Bloom and Co. be looking to make upgrades?
The Sox open a pivotal three-game set in southwestern Florida on Tuesday night when they tangle with the Tampa Bay Rays. The two teams are in a virtual tie for first place with Boston just a half-game ahead, and the outlook of the American League East race looks a little different now than it did two weeks ago with the injury to Tampa Bay ace Tyler Glasnow.
It’s certainly there for the taking for Alex Cora’s team. A strong showing this week would confirm what most have started to believe: The Red Sox are pretty good. Whether they’re good enough to chip away at an improving farm system will be a worthwhile discussion leading up to the July 30 deadline.
As that deadline nears, The Athletic’s Jim Bowden, a former general manager, looked at the 75 top trade targets who could be available. Before we get into the players, let’s identify a few potential needs for the Red Sox.
In no particular order: First base, outfield, starting pitching and relief pitching (because you can always use more bullpen arms)
Here are the players with whom he attached to the Red Sox as potential suitors.
1B/OF Trey Mancini, Baltimore Orioles
Mancini’s story is fabulous. He beat cancer, and now he’s beating up again on American League pitching. The Orioles slugger entered play Tuesday with 14 home runs and a 127 OPS+. He’s no stranger to Boston and has very good career numbers at Fenway Park, hitting .348 with a .996 OPS in 30 career games. The Red Sox also have been league-average vs. left-handed pitching, and Mancini would be an instant upgrade in that regard. In a pinch, he technically could play outfield, although he hasn’t done so since 2019. He’s also under contract through next season, which makes him a more valuable trade chip. Bowden noted it’s possible the Orioles give him a contract extension before the deadline. If he’s made available, though, and the Red Sox believe Bobby Dalbec’s recent run (13-for-34 in his last nine games) is the aberration, Mancini is worth a call.