(Via Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
2008 was an interesting time for baseball. We all thought that Barry Bonds would sign somewhere. Manny Ramirez seemed like a lock for the Hall of Fame. Adam Dunn was one player and not half the league. And there were some pretty good prospects. How good? Buster Posey, Andrew McCutchen, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Jake Arrieta, Freddie Freeman, and Giancarlo Stanton were all top 50 prospects.
And none of them were in the top ten. So, with the year winding down, it's a perfect time to look at the 2008 top ten prospects and reflect on their decade in pro baseball.
10. Colby Rasmus
A 6-2, 195, lefty hitting and throwing outfielder, Rasmus would get his first call-up in 2009 with the Cardinals. He played there until 2011, when he was traded to Toronto in an eight player deal. He'd last through 2014 with the Blue Jays before signing with the Astros and spending two seasons in Houston. After stints in both Tampa Bay and Baltimore where he voluntarily stepped away twice, he's essentially retired. He never made an All-Star Game, never led the league in any categories, and the closest he got to winning any awards was when he received one Rookie of the Year vote in 2009. Still, he managed to carve out a ten year career in the big leagues.
9. Neftali Feliz
A 6-3, 235, righty hitting and throwing relief pitcher, Feliz made his major league debut in 2009, but it was 2010 where he became a superstar. He was named an All-Star and won AL Rookie of the Year. However, despite having him, the Rangers would still lose the World Series to the Giants in five games. Feliz and the Rangers would rebound and make the World Series again the next year, but it's clear where this is going. If Feliz just struck David Freese out, we'd be talking about him as one of the better relievers in the majors. But he didn't. He was shook, injured, and after his release in 2015, spent time with four different teams. He was most recently part of the Diamondbacks farm system.
8. Alcides Escobar
A 6-1, 205, righty hitting and throwing shortstop, Escobar spent his first three seasons in Milwaukee, and in 2011, was part of the trade that got Zack Greinke to the Brewers and sent him and Lorenzo Cain to Kansas City. He has been remarkably durable, playing all 162 games three times in four seasons from 2014-17. The one season he didn't? He was an All-Star, won a Gold Glove, and won the World Series. Since then though? It's been up and down for him, with the Royals trying him out at different positions and ultimately benching him for Adalberto Mondesi in 2018. He's currently a free agent.
7. Travis Snider
A 6-0, 235, lefty hitting and throwing outfielder, Snider would mostly be a bench player his first four seasons in the majors, never getting 300 at bats. After the Blue Jays traded him to Pittsburgh though, things changed. He was suddenly the starting right fielder on a team that made it to the NLDS. He took on a lesser role with the emergence of Gregory Polanco, but still helped the Pirates in both corner outfield spots. Then they traded him and went from a good team to a very bad one, but brought him back when he couldn't catch on with the Orioles. Since then, he's been in the farm systems of three teams, and was most recently with the Long Island Ducks, an independent baseball team.
6. Madison Bumgarner
A 6-4, 242, righty hitting, lefty throwing pitcher, MadBum is the first real star on this list. He's already arguably the greatest postseason pitcher to ever live, posting a tiny 0.25 ERA in World Series play. He's also the best hitting pitcher of a generation, with 17 career homers and an OPS over .700 in three seasons. Since he made his debut in 2009, he's been a four time All-Star, a three time champion, a two time Silver Slugger, an NLCS MVP, a World Series MVP, and he hasn't even hit 30 yet. He's still under contract with the Giants until 2020.
5. Cameron Maybin
A 6-3, 215, righty hitting and throwing outfielder, Maybin has been a major league disappointment at best. Compared to Ken Griffey Jr in high school, he's been a journeyman in the bigs. He started with the Tigers, before being traded to the Marlins for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis in December 2007. The Marlins traded him to the Padres in November 2010. The Padres traded him the day before Opening Day 2015 to the Braves. The Braves traded him back to the Tigers in November 2015. The Tigers traded him again, this time to the Angels, in November 2016, only to waive him in August 2017. The Astros picked him up, where he won the World Series. He then re-signed with the Marlins, only to be traded to the Mariners. He's currently a free agent.
4. Rick Porcello
A 6-5, 205, righty hitting and throwing pitcher, Porcello made his major league debut with the Tigers in 2009. Jim Leyland trusted him enough to start him in a win or go home Game 163, and be pitched well, although the Tigers lost. Since then, Porcello's been a mediocre to below average pitcher, even after his trade to the Red Sox, with one exception: 2016. Somehow Rick Porcello, a player who's never even made an All-Star team, won the Cy Young. Whether he deserved it is another discussion, but he still won it. Two years later, he won the World Series with the Red Sox. He's still under contract with them through 2019.
3. Jason Heyward
A 6-5, 240, lefty hitting and throwing right fielder, Heyward quickly rose to stardom with the Braves, being named to his first and only All-Star team his rookie season in 2010. If nothing else, he's an absolute stud defensively, even to this day. He would stay in Atlanta until he was traded to the Cardinals in November 2014, despite winning two Gold Gloves. He won another in his only season in St. Louis, after which he left for the Cubs. In Chicago, he'd win another couple Gold Gloves, as well as the 2016 World Series. He is currently still under contract with the Cubs.
2. Matt Wieters
A 6-5, 235, switch hitting, righty throwing catcher, Wieters was called up for the first time in 2009. Not only was he soon the Orioles starting catcher, he was one of the best defensive catchers in baseball. In his first All-Star season, 2011, he had 17 DRS and won a Gold Glove. He followed it up with another All-Star season in 2012 and a solid season in 2013, he was off to his best offensive start in 2014, but a Tommy John Surgery would end his season after 26 games (he was still voted an All-Star despite this). This surgery would keep him out the first two months in 2015, although he'd return to the All-Star Game in 2016. He'd leave Baltimore for the Nationals in 2017, and in 2018 he wouldn't be re-signed after a season with multiple DL stints. He's currently a free agent.
1. David Price
A 6-5, 215, lefty hitting and throwing pitcher, Price was called up in September 2008, and was a dominant piece of the Rays bullpen en route to their run to the AL Pennant. He made the team from the get go in 2009, and in 2010 broke out, being named to his first All-Star team. Two years after that, he’d win a Cy Young. He'd be traded at the deadline twice in two years, from the Rays to the Tigers in 2014 (where he joined fellow Cy Young winners Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Rick Porcello in the rotation), and from the Tigers to the Blue Jays in 2015. In 2016 he signed a record free agent deal with the Red Sox, and finally slayed his postseason demons in the 2018 World Series. He's currently under contract until 2023.
Its been about four seconds since the latest Anthony Davis-To-Boston rumor, so Adrian Wojnarowski decided to give us our fix for the week. According to Woj, the Celtics have been "Hawking Anthony Davis for years" and will be making a significant run at the 25-year-old superstar either this offseason or next season before the trade deadline. New Orleans will be able to offer Davis a five-year, $230 million super-max contract but rumors have surfaced that he may not be interested in re-signing with a middle of the road team in the Western Conference.
Woj pointed out two teams, the Celtics and the Lakers, that will be putting all of their eggs in Davis' basket if he becomes available in the next 12+ months. For the Lakers, this is a somewhat surprising move but if one takes a deeper look at it, it makes all the sense in the world. With LeBron James already under contract and a surplus of cap space available, the Lakers could quickly be one of the top teams in the Western Conference. The Kawhi Leonard rumors are still prevalent, even as he excels with the top seeded Toronto Raptors. Now, the rumors have not specified if Leonard has a preference for the Lakers or Clippers, but it is very clear he wants to still go to LA. If the Lakers have James and Leonard, they could make a serious run at Davis. If you're a Celtics fan, you should be rooting for Leonard to sign with the Lakers in my opinion. If Leonard decides to go to the Clippers or even re-signing with the Raptors, then they will be desperate to land another star. Now, I don't think the Lakers have the same assets as the Celtics, but who knows what they would be willing to give up compared to the Celtics. They may give up the farm plus some more for Davis, while the Celtics may not be willing to go there. We really don't know at this point.
For the Celtics, landing Davis could be the final piece to the puzzle that brings them Banner 18. Ultimately, as I just discussed above, it all comes down to the price. What would it take to get Davis to Boston? I don't think the discussion even starts to take place without offering one of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. For me, that decision is not even worth having. Brown has shown a bit more arrogance than I would like for someone his age and he has gotten to the point where he is now coming off the bench. Tatum, on the other hand, is already a budding star that could be a top five or 10 player in the NBA in a few seasons if all goes according to plan. Plus, the Celtics can't keep all these guys forever. With Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and the aforementioned Tatum all either under a max contract or will be in the not so distant future, the Celtics have to start making decisions about who will be on this team moving forward.
So, after Tatum, who else is on the move? I would almost instinctively say Marcus Smart after he signed his fat contract this season, but I have honestly loved what I have seen out of him since he cracked the starting lineup. At this point, he is one of the biggest x-factors on this team and a huge key to their success. If I can keep Smart out of the deal, I will. After that, the Celtics do not have a lot of those middle of the road deals that can help make the money work. Al Horford is a key name that comes to mind that could be eligible to move. He has been a good Celtic, but he is not worth his max contract and appears to be breaking down at this point in his career. If the Celtics were to include Horford, they would need the Pelicans to send them over some cap filler. Perhaps old friend E'Twaun Moore? That would make the trade successful.
Lets recap, shall we? If I am the Celtics, I am sending the Pelicans an offer of Brown, Horford, and as many draft picks as they want for Davis and whatever type of filler they have coming to Boston. It is important to note that the Celtics cannot trade for Davis until after they re-sign Kyrie Irving due to the Derrick Rose Rule. So, unless Irving is in this deal, don't expect to see Davis in Celtic green until, at the very earliest, this summer.
(Via Michael Chow/AZCentral Sports)
The Red Sox need to reload. And I can see why that statement wouldn't make sense given that they just won the third most games of any team in a full season (including the postseason), but in baseball nowadays it's all or nothing. They need to keep their foot on the gas and continue adding to their roster if they want to contend well into the future. So, who could they add?
Dee Gordon, Mariners 2B/SS/OF (2018: .268/.288/.349, .637 OPS, 79 OPS+, 30 SB, 12 CS, 0.6 WAR)
The Mariners are in a weird spot. They have the longest postseason drought in all of sports, and after coming up short in 2018, they blew it up this offseason. Despite being overshadowed by Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich in the Great Marlins Fire Sale of 2017, Gordon was actually a very productive member of the Marlins during his time there, going over 200 hits in both of his full seasons in Miami. In 2015, he was an NL All-Star and won the batting title. He stole 58 bases that season, then followed it up with 60 in 2017. He never really caught on in Seattle, bouncing around the infield and outfield and never really having a true position. Despite that, he still managed 30 steals and is versatile enough to help the Red Sox in multiple positions if need be.
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers RF (2018: .267/.327/.494, .820 OPS, 120 OPS+, 23 HR, 60 R, 2.7 WAR)
Yasiel Puig peaked as a rookie and fell far. However, after a stint in the minors in 2016, he's been up in the majors for good and a solid player at that. The Dodgers have made it clear they want to move either Puig or Matt Kemp, and the Red Sox could stand to upgrade their outfield. On the surface, it makes more sense to try and trade for Kemp. He was a 2018 All-Star starter after all. But despite that, Kemp has shown in 2018 that he's streaky at best. His OPS every month from April to September ranged from .935 to .577, which isn't great. Puig is also only 28, compared to Kemp being 34. But there's one thing stopping this trade from happening: Puig only plays right field, and the Red Sox have the second best player in the major leagues in right already.
JT Realmuto, Marlins C (2018: .277/.340/.484, .825 OPS, 131 OPS+, 21 HR, 74 R, 4.3 WAR)
After a breakout season in 2018, where he had career highs in several categories en route to an All-Star nod, Realmuto is likely the best catcher in the majors. Unlike several of his old Marlins teammates, he survived the Great Marlins Fire Sale of 2017, but much like one of those teammates, it seems like the entire offseason is waiting for Miami to move him. Thanks to Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez, and Blake Swihart combining for -1.6 WAR, the Red Sox proved you don't need a good catcher to be great, but adding the best in the game certainly wouldn't hurt. However, not unlike that former teammate, Realmuto is likely heading to New York. Unlike that teammate though, it will probably be the Mets who make the trade this time.
Corey Kluber, Indians RHP (2018: 215.0 IP, 222 K, 2.89 ERA, 151 ERA+, 3.12 FIP, 0.991 WHIP)
The Indians believe trading their two best starters away is something that would help them, and the interest is there. Kluber has been an All-Star each of the past three seasons. He's won the Cy Young Award twice. Along with Chris Sale and Justin Verlander, he's a consensus top three starting pitcher in the American League. He's still a top five starter including the NL. Even with a “down year” in 2018, he still finished third in Cy Young voting behind Blake Snell and Verlander. An addition of Corey Kluber to the Red Sox rotation with Chris Sale, the resurgent David Price, and “Cy Young Winner” Rick Porcello would easily make them baseball's best rotation. However, it's still unclear whether the Indians will actually trade him. If they do though? There's no reason why the Red Sox can't at least make a call.
Trevor Bauer, Indians RHP (2018: 175.1 IP, 221 K, 2.21 ERA, 198 ERA+, 2.44 FIP, 1.089 WHIP)
While everyone knows Kluber’s pedigree, but in 2018, Bauer was statistically better, setting full season career lows in ERA and FIP (a stat he led the league in) as well as career highs in strikeouts, ERA, and ERA+. He was named to his first All-Star team this past year. For a pitcher, their prime is in their late 20’s to early 30’s. While Kluber is in his prime now, Bauer is just entering it. He's only 27. He's under team control until 2021, and has had no major injury history, with the exception of that one time with the drones. One thing that may scare teams away though is the fact he loves trolling on Twitter. Why is this a problem? Because it's showing a little personality, it's fun, and Major League Baseball is trying very hard to distance themselves from those two things.
Archie Bradley, Diamondbacks RHP (2018: 71.2 IP, 75 K, 3.64 ERA, 119 ERA+, 3.70 FIP, 1.144 WHIP)
A converted starter and former football player, Archie Bradley has become a lockdown relief ace for the Diamondbacks over the past two seasons. And while his 2017 was much, much better than his 2018, his follow-up to his breakout season wasn't exactly bad. Yes, while his ERA more than doubling is concerning, he's still worth the gamble that he could be even close to his 2017 season (and the highest postseason OPS of all time doesn't hurt either). The Diamondbacks are open to trading away their best players, trading the best position player in franchise history to the Cardinals earlier this offseason. Bradley's probably a better fit than Craig Kimbrel was, too. Relievers like Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, and Wade Davis are from a bygone era of baseball where ideally the game would get to a closer. Now, teams need guys like Bradley, Adam Ottavino, and Josh Hader who can come in whenever there's a jam and get out of it. And Bradley is pretty good at that.
The Winter Meetings have come and gone, and it appears as if there is only smoke and mirrors at this point for the Boston Red Sox. There has been essentially no rumors to report, other than the fact that they are apparently listening on offers for Rick Porcello, Jackie Bradley Jr,. and Xander Bogaerts. While these rumors have been refuted, I tend to believe the national guys that initially reported this, rather than the talking heads in Boston that say it is a lie.
It has become quite apparent that this team is going to need some help in the bullpen. Joe Kelly is leaving for the LA Dodgers after signing a three-year, $25 million deal with the club. This move did not come as that much of a surprise to me. Sure, the Red Sox probably could have matched this contract, but rumors were surfacing that Kelly wanted to go back west, as he is a native Californian. I have also heard rumors that the Dodgers blew him away with their pitch, which perhaps means they are open to the idea of occasionally letting him start? Thank you for the inside source. As for Craig Kimbrel, that man is as good as gone. He is reportedly seeking a six-year, $100 million contract to make him the highest paid reliever ever. After a shaky playoff performance where he was essentially rendered useless, as well as just an average regular season by his standards, there is no shot the Red Sox should touch Kimbrel with a 10-foot pole.
So, what should the Red Sox do at this point? Here are a couple options I could see for this team. Most names will not surprise you.
Nelson Cruz (2018: .256 AVG, .850 OPS, 37 HR, 97 RBI, 2.9 WAR)
Ah. Good 'ole friend Nelson Cruz. This dude has wanted to play for the Red Sox for his entire career. David Ortiz was lobbying for the Sox to get this guy back in the day, and it appears as if his days with the Seattle Mariners are finally over. At 38 years old, he can still rake. He mashed 37 home runs this past season and could really make a living at a park like Fenway that is more hitter-friendly than Seattle. Now, his age is an obvious concern, but I think the Red Sox can use that to their advantage. They can offer him a shorter deal to win a championship as one of the focal points in their offense. Again, the Red Sox do not necessarily need to improve their lineup, but Cruz could be an option if the Red Sox decide to actually move Jackie Bradley Jr. Cruz's days in the outfield appear to be over, but JD Martinez has made it be known that he desperately wants to play the outfield still. What is to say the Red Sox could not move Martinez to left field, flip Andrew Benintendi to center field, and leave Mookie Betts in right? The Red Sox would be sacrificing some defense, but I think this would be a good option for the team in 2019 if they want to alleviate some of their payroll woes.
Jed Lowrie (2018: .267 AVG, .801 OPS, 23 HR, 99 RBI, 4.8 WAR)
Another old friend. Lowrie has grown up since his days with the Red Sox and has blossomed in to quite the player. He is the top second baseman on the market at the moment and the Red Sox have been rumored to be interested in him for the past couple of seasons. Ian Kinsler was a decent and affordable option for the Red Sox for their postseason run, but he is getting older and I do not think he is that much of an upgrade over some of the utility guys they already have on the roster. Obviously, this move has everything to do with the health of Dustin Pedroia. If he comes back and is completely healthy, then you can completely delete this part of the article and we can move on to pitchers. However, I do not think he is going to be back with the Red Sox any time soon. In fact, I do not think he is ever going to be a significant part of this team. Maybe he won't even ever suit up for a MLB team again. He is still under contract with the Red Sox until 2021, with his "team friendly" deal. Lowrie represents an everyday option for the Red Sox at a clear position of need. If the Red Sox do not think Pedroia can come back and be an effective player, signing a guy like Lowrie makes a lot of sense. Entering his age 35 season, Lowrie won't make a ton of money and could really help this team moving forward. He did fade a little bit in the second half of the season, but he was one of the best hitters in the first half of 2018.
Matt Harvey (2018: 7-9, 4.94 ERA, 131 K, 155 IP, 0.7 WAR)
Remember this guy? Entering his age 30 season, Harvey still has a lot of bullets left in the chamber. The guy was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball up until 2016, when he had a falling out with the New York Mets that lasted until 2018, when he was traded to Cincinnati. He may never be "The Dark Knight" again, but I think Harvey could be a reliable back-end of the rotation guy if he can keep his head on straight. He is a guy that potentially has a ton of upside and could be useful for any team that is looking for some starting pitching depth. Now, the Red Sox are rich with starting pitchers at the moment, but that could change if this team starts to shed some payroll. A guy like Rick Porcello could clearly be on the move to help alleviate their tightness up against the luxury tax, while guys like Eduardo Rodriguez could be looking for a change of scenery after so many up and down seasons. Furthermore, you can really never have too much starting pitching depth. Harvey will be able to be signed for short money and, if he could ever return to form, could be one of the steals of this free agent class. Fortunately for the Red Sox, they are at the point with this team that they are looking at pieces as a luxury, not out of necessity.
Adam Ottavino (2018: 75 G, 2.43 ERA, 112 K, 77.2 IP, 2.6 WAR)
Now, this is a name that the Red Sox are actually rumored to be in on. Ottavino is one of the top remaining free agent relievers on the market. At 33 years old, he is on the older side but did not turn into an everyday major leaguer until 2012. Since then, he has been a reliable reliever that had one bad season to sway his numbers. He essentially has no experience as a closer, so the Red Sox would be thrusting him into a new role if that is the direction they decide to go down. However, he would be a great late-inning option to replace a guy like Joe Kelly. Since 2012, he has not had a K/9 under 9 and posted a 13.0 K/9 last season. He has a devastating breaking ball with an upper 90s fastball. Ottavino would help the Red Sox, who desperately need bullpen arms at the moment. While he does not help you in the ninth inning, I think he could be a great addition to this ball club. There are other suitors potentially for him, so the Red Sox will need to put the pressure on if they want Ottavino in Boston in 2019.
David Robertson (2018: 69 G, 3.23 ERA, 91 K, 69.2 IP, 1.0 WAR)
Again, the Red Sox are rumored to be in on this guy. I have been enamored with Robertson for quite some time now. The guy is one of the most consistent relief pitchers in baseball and is still doing it going into his age 34 season. Because of his age, the Red Sox may be able to get away with offering this guy only two or three years. He has a ton of closing experience and has shown he can pitch in the AL East, having been one of the top arms in the bullpen for the Yankees in two separate stints. Now, he is going to get a contract in the neighborhood of three-years, $30 million, so the Red Sox will have to pay into the luxury tax if they want him. However, at this point, I don't see how the Red Sox are going to be able to avoid this. They need arms in the bullpen and cannot rely on a bunch of no-names when they are fresh off a World Series victory. The Red Sox do not have a large window, with many notable names becoming free agents in the next couple of seasons. Tying down Robertson ensures the Red Sox a reliable closer that can take Kimbrel's role with little-to-no drop-off. Sign. This. Man.
Zach Britton (2018: 41 G, 3.10 ERA, 34 K, 40.2 IP, 0.7 WAR)
A few years ago, this guy was legitimately competing for Cy Youngs as a freaking closer. That is absolutely incredible. Now, however, after a flurry of injuries, Britton has dropped off to a good, not great, reliever. Despite being booed off of the mound at Yankee Stadium countless times, Britton was great in pinstripes and bounced back nicely in 2018. I do not think you have to overly worry about his injuries at this point, but they should be taken into account when unloading him a big contract. Going into his age 31 season, Britton will be in for a contract similar to that of Robertson. At this point, I would rather have Robertson, but it is clear that Britton has more upside. The question comes down to whether you believe Britton will ever return to his 2016 form, where he posted a 0.54(!!!!) ERA. Many teams are enamored with Britton, so perhaps the Red Sox would be wise to steer clear of him in 2019. It is clear that teams will be paying for past performance when it comes to Britton. I am just not sure that I want to take that big of a gamble with a team that wants to win their second consecutive World Series. Rumors have circulated that the Red Sox want both Britton and Robertson, so keep an eye on this guy in the coming days.
Andrew Miller (2018: 37 G, 4.24 ERA, 45K, 34 IP, 0.2 WAR)
Another old friend. Also, are you sensing a theme here? The Red Sox need relief pitching. At the age of 33, it wouldn't surprise me if Miller's best days are behind him. He is coming off a season in which he was plagued by injuries and saw a decrease in his velocity when he came back. It remains to be seen if he can return to form, but I am fearful that he is no longer the multi-inning guy we saw only a couple seasons ago. Nevertheless, the Red Sox are paying for past performance with this guy. He has shown that he can pitch in the AL East and could come at a decreased price compared to a guy like Britton. While Robertson is a sure thing, I may take the gamble on Miller given that he is such a dynamic pitcher, especially in the postseason. He is devastating against left handers and could be a really good late inning guy if the Red Sox decide to splurge on a closer. If the Red Sox were to hypothetically land Robertson and Miller, they would surely be over the luxury tax, but they would also have upgraded their bullpen from last season, which was surprisingly good to begin with. I would love to see this guy return to Boston, but it is all about the price.
Are things about to get interesting? What was once thought to be a quiet Winter Meetings has turned into a frenzy for the Boston Red Sox. Both Bob Nightengale and Ken Rosenthal have confirmed that the Boston Red Sox are looking to cut payroll in order to ensure that they do not go over the luxury tax threshold. According to reports, the Red Sox have been open to the idea of trading Rick Porcello, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Xander Bogaerts, among others.
Rick Porcello is coming off of a decent season in which he went 17-7 with a 4.28 ERA in 191.1 innings. All in all, the former Cy Young winner has regressed since winning the award. Prior to pitching for the Red Sox, Porcello signed a contract extension that has him signed through the 2019 season. Looking back on his four-year, $82.5 million contract, he appears to have been a success in this city. However, with one year remaining on his contract and little chance of him re-signing with a plethora of guys in need of new contracts, Porcello could be the odd man out. I do not think Porcello could get the Red Sox a king's ransom, but it would definitely be a step in the right direction to re-stocking the farm system or perhaps netting a solid bullpen arm. In his final year under contract, Porcello is owed $21 million.
Jackie Bradley Jr. has become one of the most tantalizing figures on the Red Sox since he came on to the scene in 2013. The sure-handed center fielder will be eligible for free agency after the 2020 season and will be in the market for a massive contract. While he did win the ALCS MVP award this past season, he is a career .238 hitter and a .185 hitter in the playoffs. He does have the occasional power surge, but he is essentially a non-factor at the plate 95% of the time. Given his mild success in the 2018 postseason, it will be interesting to see if the Red Sox sell high on a guy that still has some life on his contract. This year, JBJ is slated to make roughly $9 million.
Perhaps the most interesting name on this list was that of Xander Bogaerts. Conveniently enough, he may also get the Red Sox the most in a return. The all star shortstop is coming off a great season, where he hit .288 with 23 home runs and 103 RBI and even saw himself get some MVP votes. Over his six-year career, Bogaerts is hitting .284, provides solid defense, and looks to be finally getting into the prime of his career at the age of 26. Bogaerts will be looking at an absurd deal in the offseason, where he could sign something in the neighborhood of $25 million per year.
Losing each of these guys in a deal would have obvious benefits and detriments to the team. Trading Porcello makes a lot of sense, although I would love to see him stay in Boston for the rest of his career. He has a great attitude and can obviously work effectively here. However, he could be the odd man out in this rotation if the Red Sox plan on signing Chris Sale after this season. It would be interesting to see what the Red Sox could get for him, given he is a free agent after this season and has the largest contract of the three guys mentioned. Because of his contract size, the Red Sox may be most interested in trading him this offseason. Dealing JBJ also makes a lot of sense because of his impending big pay day and his awful offense. The Red Sox wouldn't really be losing anything at the plate, could easily fix their outfield when he is gone, and not take that much off the big league club. I wouldn't overly want to mess with the outfield because it is the best in the game, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a team overspend on JBJ, as he sinks away into obscurity.
Bogaerts gets his own separate paragraph because I think he is that important to this team. He is a two-time World Series Champion, has been great at the plate, and is a solid defender, but I feel that he has still underperformed for his career thus far. His numbers won't show it, but I feel that Bogaerts could be a potential MVP candidate. I simply don't think he has the right mindset to be one of the best players in baseball, although I think he is capable of it. My guess is Bogaerts could net the Red Sox a massive return. If they do not think they can re-sign him, trading him may be the best move. The Red Sox could use any number of the utility infielders they have on the roster to replace Bogaerts, or perhaps they could sign a guy in free agency. Maybe the recently released Troy Tulowitzki?
This team has an incredible lineup, so they can afford to lose one of these guys and they will still be more than okay. Furthermore, if Sale is right, then losing Porcello after re-signing Nathan Eovaldi is also not that big of a deal. The Red Sox are a team rich with talent, but their farm system needs to be replenished and they desperately need arms in the bullpen. These are only rumors, but it is interesting to see the Red Sox not staying complacent after winning a World Series. I think Dave Dombrowski knows this team cannot keep everyone and wants to do as much as he can to milk one more championship out of this core before they all go their separate ways.