(Photo Credit- NESN.com)
By Joshua Nord – @NordJoshua
We are now past the trade deadline for the 2018 season folks. The Red Sox, who have a league best record, did not make the splash some fans may have hoped for but still made some moves to supplement their league leading product. How did they really do?
The first baseman was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays long before the deadline at June 28th. He’s already played in seventeen games and so far in my opinion has exceeded expectations in Boston.
The Red Sox have a problem hitting lefties. We only need to look back at that no hitter in April to remember such. Pearce was acquired in order to fix that problem while also being able to give starter Mitch Moreland some off days. The former Blue Jay responded being traded to his childhood team by turning in a .378 OBP. He is swinging a good bat in addition to his frightening defense at first. Out of all three acquisitions by the Sox, he has the most time spent with the team, and I’d say so far he’s the best acquisition they made. Nice clubhouse presence, good experience, great stats against the Yankees. What more could you want?
In the trade, Red Sox sent infielder Santiago Espinal, a twenty three year old from the Dominican who was hitting a slash line of .313/.363/.477 during his time in Red Sox High-A affiliate Salem Red Sox. By all accounts he seems to be continuing that pace with the Blue Jays High-A team. I hope the best for him, as he was considered our fifteenth best prospect in our system.
This trade might be held to the most scrutiny by pessimistic fans. Every contender wants pitching at the deadline. Red Sox weren’t alone here, and while many of us wanted former Baltimore O’s All-Star closer Zach Britton, GM Dave Dombrowski went with the Tampa Bay Ray starting pitcher instead after making comments that he could have just as easily gotten Britton.
This set the bar high for Eovaldi. Failure to produce here would have long standing effects on the organization and Dombrowski’s role in it. Especially considering the Yankees nabbed Britton instead. Eovaldi, the 28 year old right hander, came to Boston as a starter, slotted in for E-Rod’s place after he went down with an ankle injury. He entered Fenway with a 4.26 ERA, but put all worries aside for now with a dazzling seven inning shutout performance against the Minnesota Twins. Living up to his superb WHIP by walking no one, and striking out five. While he only has one start under his belt with the Sox he will be the most important addition to the team as they can use him as both a starter or a reliever. I’m excited for him, as he has the highest expectations, but the largest payoff out of the three.
For Eovaldi the Red Sox gave up Jalen Beeks. The lefty was rated the organization’s fifteenth best prospect yet in his limited time in the majors with the team wasn’t able to be effective posting a 12.79 ERA, and a 2.37 WHIP in two games. In his first start with the Rays? Ten hits and seven earned runs in just over three innings. His experience in the majors has been negative, it’s important to remember that Beeks is just twenty five years old. Plenty of time to develop, it’s just a shame that development will come from a different team.
The Red Sox had a problem in the infield. Dustin Pedroia’s career has been in question with a long knee rehab process following a serious knee surgery. As well as Eduardo Nunez being a black hole at the position, the team needed to do something to secure one of the most important positions on the diamond.
In comes thirty six year old veteran player Ian Kinsler. There isn’t much to say about him in a Sox uniform, so we have to rely on what he’s done with his former team, the Los Angeles Angels. He’s hitting .238 in 355 at-bats, a low average, but he was brought in primarily as a defensive need. To that demand he has a pedigree of a .983 fielding percentage on the year, and notably credited with a fielding bible and a gold glove in years past. Gold gloves tend to be meaningless however, what is important is that Kinsler ranks as the second best second baseman in the league for defensive runs saved. He’s no Nunez.
I don’t see much of a big splash in this trade. Defense is an overlooked part of the game, but it’s important when looking who was playing at second before. He also provides a good clubhouse presence and has plenty of post season experience to bring to the table with four years of playoffs, including two world series trips. The trade was good, plugged a hole many people forgot was leaking.
Being pried out of the boneyard that is the Sox farm system and sent to LA is AAA Pawtucket relievers. 26 year old lefty Williams Jerez, and 25 year old righty Ty Buttrey. Both have been in the minors for seven seasons, but both could potentially join the major league club by the end of this season. The Angels will certainly see where their progress lies, and whether they might make an impact for next year. Buttrey was ranked nineteenth in the organization, while Jerez was ranked at twenty third.
With the deadline done. It’s now do or die time for this Sox team to win it all or go home.
ICYMI: EPISODE 68 OF THE AVIDBOSTON PODCAST!
THOUGHTS ON THE IAN KINSLER TRADE! IS THE RED SOX BULLPEN SOLID ENOUGH? SALE ON THE DL! WILL THE SOX DESTROY THE YANKEES?