After last season, it’s hard to think that this list is very long. Yes, the Red Sox could be putting up statistics with this team that no opponent can match. But it is quite obvious that something isn’t working to produce those numbers in the current clubhouse. You can see those players that may be packing their bags in the post that this one was inspired by here.
Whether new management will change the Red Sox clubhouse next season or not is up for debate. But no matter how many people could be traded, there is a core group of guys on this team that won’t be going anywhere.
Is this even close to being a debate? Runner-up to the Cy Young, 308 strikeout season, 2.90 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. Those numbers speak for themselves, so you gotta bet the entire house that this gamer is coming back to Boston. Hopefully for many more years to come. But to me, this is the conversational part. Sale threw 214.1 innings this season. That my friends were the most in the 2017 season, period. To me, this might be a John Farrell trend due to the fact he threw David Price for the most in baseball in 2016 with a cool 230.0. When John gets his new toys, he loves to play with them. A bit too much. Cora will have to focus on limiting Sale’s innings, yet hone the results at special points in the season.
A slight improvement from Pablo Sandoval I’d say. Who would have thought a guy nicknamed the “Kung Fu Panda” wouldn’t work out?! All that misery aside, Rafael Devers at this point seems irreplaceable. While there certainly could be quite the return for Devers, I doubt the Red Sox would want to get rid of the face of this clubhouse for years to come. With some of our stars’ abysmal seasons (Mookie Betts), Devers picked up the slack that a lot of 21-year-olds do in a video game with their created players. Looking at his stats, they each look a bit more impressive when remembering this kid’s age. Like Sale, it seems that at the moment Boston baseball is satisfying this guy. Until Devers picks up an agent like Scott Boris, who will tell him what his actual worth is, I think you’re safe to pick up his jersey at Fenway.
When thinking of any World Series Red Sox team, you always think about the dominant closer who finished off your favorite moments. Kieth Foulke, Jonathon Pablebon, and Koji Uehara would be some that come to mind. Craig Kimbrel has proven he can be just as dominant, if not more. A WAR of 3.6, 1.43 ERA, 0.681 WHIP in a 35 save season is the cream of the crop in the MLB. Seeing as though Kimbrel is not a free agent until 2019, it seems like the Fenway faithful will see this man through the prime of his career.
It’s nice to finally see what Carson Smith can bring to Boston. Although he only made appearances in eight games, Carson Smith seems like the compliment to the flamethrower above we’ve waited for. A slider that comes around the corner similar to that of Sale, and a sinker that will hit you like a two-seam sometimes at 97 MPH. Looks like Dr. Andrews did it again. I doubt after waiting all this time for Smith’s arm to be Frankenstien’d back together that Dombrowski is in any rush to send out a trade with him in it. Smith will hit free agency in 2021 at the age of 33. This is an attractive contract for the Red Sox to keep depending on when and if Smith hits a decline.
Absolute heartbreak to see this guy go down in one of the most crucial parts of the postseason this year. It’s sad to think of what difference he would have made offensively in that Houston series. Núñez wasn’t exactly the player all Boston fans wanted at the deadline. Yet, he played like that player anyways. Núñez impressed with a .321 AVG, with 53 hits and 23 runs in just 38 games. To me, Red Sox fans will see Dustin Pedroia leave in a wheelchair before seeing Núñez go. Given the fact Pedroia’s games and innings will have to be limited this season, the Sox need a platoon player like Núñez to fill in roles. Who knows, maybe if/when they finally tell Xander to kick rocks, Núñez may have a starting stop…
Jackie Bradley Jr.:
This one is a bit controversial in my eyes. Not just because this site already put out a piece about JBJ leaving to go to the Giants. Also because it seems like, out of all the core players on this team, Jackie Bradley seems like every fan’s top candidate to go. But will Dave Dombrowski ever be wow’d with a Jackie Bradley Jr. trade? Let me explain.
Who Would YOU Want:
First, you need to compare him to the other outfielders on this team. It seems too perfect that the Sox keep all three of the “Killer B’s” their entire careers. Especially since last year, those B’s weren’t very “killer” at all. If they did fulfill their nickname all at once, there may not be enough contracts to throw around. At some point, we might have to all part ways. Out of all three of them in trade talks, it’s quite obvious Jackie Bradley has the least value in a trade.
Mookie Betts, the runner-up to an MVP in 2016, appeared to be a five-tool player that can make an instant impact for any team in the MLB at his peak. At the age of 25, Mookie still yet to hit the prime years of his career. Whether or not he believes that is up for debate after going on talk radio and saying that he will never come close to his 2016 stats again. It doesn’t seem like Red Sox management loves hearing that. A .264 AVG Betts is a player I’d cast away while there’s still a chance. It’s very obvious he has incredible value at the moment from an outside perspective. But Mookie in Boston forever doesn’t seem like a reality.
Andrew Benintendi has a contract that, to many suitors, seems most appealing. Benintendi, age 24, will not be a free agent until the 2023 season. Which will be perfect, because at this point it will be very clear what his ceiling will be. For whatever team has him. A 20 home run season in his rookie season and runner-up up in AL ROY is what gives GMs whiplash. The question really seems, to be who you could get more for getting rid of in the trade market, Benny Baseball or Mookie.
How does this effect JBJ? To me, it does not seem like the Red Sox will get a trade in any situation that will amount to the value Bradley Jr. has on THIS team. The only trade I’d be comfortable with in San Fransisco in return for Jackie Braldey Jr. would be him and Jason Groome for Mad Bum or Posey. Which would happen after you pinch me awake from that dream.
Although he might have the worth of a Cueto straight up, I doubt the Red Sox would open that defensive gap in their outfield to get a coin flip like Cueto. Especially after his abysmal 2016 season. Who else do you want from the San Fransisco Giants (64-98 in 2016)? Unless they can bring back a healthy and untraceable Barry Bonds, I’ll pass. The Red Sox are looking for a power bat. Although every trade they approach a team with may start with Jackie Bradley Jr., I’m sure that goes nowhere fast. Out of the names in this outfield, I don’t think the rebuttal back has JBJ/ headlining it.
Also, I’m not gonna lie. I’ll be very sad going to Fenway and not hearing “They Just Don’t Know” by Gyft when he walks up to the plate. You’ve danced to it, don’t lie, you know you have…