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Potential Red Sox trade deadline targets: Second basemen, other position players

Krystle Boyajian
July 25, 2018 - 1:46 pm
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The July 31 MLB trade deadline is less than a week away, and Dave Dombrowski and company are looking at any and all options to improve the Red Sox for the stretch run. On Monday we looked at potential relief pitcher targets (before Zach Britton got dealt to the Yankees), and on Tuesday we looked at potential starting pitcher targets (including the guy for whom the Red Sox just traded, Nathan Eovaldi). Today, we look at second basemen and other position players.

With Dustin Pedroia possibly not returning this season and Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt both displaying some inconsistencies, second base would seem to be the most obvious area to address when it comes to position players. Similarly, Christian Vazquez's injury and a lack of offensive production from the catcher spot might make that a target area as well. Here's a look at some options at those two positions as well as others:

Second Base

Brian Dozier

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ESPN's Buster Olney floated the possibility of Brian Dozier being a fit for the Red Sox. He has 16 home runs, a .223 average and a .716 OPS this season, which is a pretty significant dropoff from his last two seasons, when he topped 30 home runs (including 42 in 2016) and an .850 OPS each year. He'd still be an offensive upgrade at second for the Sox, though, and he's a free agent after the season.

Whit Merrifield

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Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield is another player who's been mentioned in connection to the Red Sox here and there. Merrifield is under team control through 2022 and has put up good numbers each of the last two seasons, so there is no pressing need for the Royals to trade him, and the price may be too much for the Sox. This year he has hit five home runs with a .299 average and .790 OPS.

Scooter Gennett

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Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett has said he doesn’t anticipate being traded this season, but the Reds might feel differently if they get a good enough offer. Gennett is under team control for another year, but if the Reds aren't sure if he's in their long-term plans, they might be able to capitalize on the 28-year-old's value now, especially since he's in the middle of a second straight very good season, hitting .313 with 16 home runs and an .865 OPS. The question is whether the Red Sox are the team that would be willing and able to pay that price.

Yangervis Solarte

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand recently reported that the Blue Jays are shopping infielder Yangervis Solarte. He has played more third base than second base this season, but has played plenty of second in the past. This season Solarte has hit 17 home runs to go along with a .240 average and .710 OPS. The infielder has an affordable salary and is under team control through the 2020 season. Solarte may seem like a duplicate of Nunez and Holt given his ability to play multiple infield positions, but he could provide more pop than either if the Sox started him at second.

Catchers

J.T. Realmuto

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Wilson Ramos

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The two catchers whose names have been swirling the most happen to be two of the best offensive catchers in the game. That could mean they'll be too expensive for the Red Sox to seriously consider, but it also means there are options available if they want to go all-in on upgrading the position. Miami's J.T. Realmuto is having the best offensive season of his career, hitting .304 with 13 home runs and an .884 OPS. He's also under team control through 2020, though, so the Marlins don't need to trade him now. Tampa Bay's Wilson Ramos is also having one of the best offensive seasons of his career, posting a .297 average, 14 home runs and an .834 OPS. He's also a free agent after the season, so he could be more affordable than Realmuto.

Other Position Players

Derek Dietrich

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Miami's Derek Dietrich played mostly second base earlier in his career and could potentially still be an option to start there, although he's played mostly left field this season and mostly third base last year. The 29-year-old is in the midst of arguably his best season, as he has 13 home runs, a .287 average and an .813 OPS. He's under team control through 2020.

Mike Moustakas

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The Red Sox have been linked to Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas many times over the years, including this season. Third base doesn't look like too pressing of a need for the Red Sox, but perhaps they'd view him as a rental upgrade over Rafael Devers, who has had some ups and downs in his first full big-league season, or even a replacement if they moved Devers in some sort of major blockbuster. Moustakas is hitting .247 with 20 home runs and a .775 OPS this season.

 

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