The 2018 Red Sox are at the top of Major League Baseball in a number of things. Batting average, on base percentage, slugging, ERA, FIP, strikeouts- you name it. They’ve been strong in all parts of the game and haven’t had many flaws. There’s always room for improvement, however. Some of the greatest teams of all time even had minuscule flaws.
This year’s team hasn’t had very good production from second base. With Dustin Pedroia missing almost the whole season thus far, Eduardo Nunez has been taking the toll out at second. And to put it politely, let’s just say it hasn’t worked one bit. Not only is he not producing offensively, but he’s also horrendous defensively. Something that has made him an overall unproductive player. At least in Jackie Bradley Jr.’s case, he provides production in the field. Nunez doesn’t even do that. So it’s either Pedey coming back, or someone new is just going to have to replace him. Brock Holt could certainly be the one who takes up second base the rest of the way.
The next position which needs an upgrade is center field. Jackie Bradley Jr., as aforementioned, can field well. He has a cannon for an arm and can catch almost any ball hit in his area. With that said, his problem is at the plate, where he’s hitting under .200 on the season. That won’t fly.
Lastly, the bullpen. Overall, the bullpen ERA may not be so bad. But the problem is the late innings. If I asked whoever trusts Heath Hembree or Matt Barnes late in a game and you raise your hand, I’m sorry, but I’ll tell you you’re crazy. Those two have continued to show that they are anything but trustworthy, especially against good teams. Could you trust those two or really anybody in the bullpen besides Kimbrel and Joe Kelly, who have even had their own share of problems at times, late in a game against the Yankees? Or Astros?
Possible Trades Options for the Red Sox
Right now, Brad Hand has been swirling in the rumor mill. Possibly Zach Britton, too. The only problem with him is he is on a division rival. That always makes things more complicated. And as far as Brad Hand goes, the asking price for him is reportedly a young player, such as Rafael Devers. If they stay stubborn on that, I say forget it. There are plenty of other fish in the sea. Not that they should stop negotiating, though. Raisel Iglesias, who’s riding a 2.37 ERA over in Cincinnati, is someone else who could be another option.
As for Jackie Bradley Jr.’s replacement, they’ll have to keep looking. If he can’t start producing, he’s not going to be able to last much longer.
Nonetheless, the trade deadline is still over a month away. Still many more rumors to come. At the end of the day, all we know is that Dave Dombrowski will be busy doing whatever he can to help this team prevail against powerhouse New York Yankees.