This offseason’s MLB Winter Meetings brought big news out of the Boston Red Sox front office. The news being, Boston is open to dealing players on their roster including star shortstop, Xander Bogaerts. Among Bogaerts, the Red Sox are also reportedly open to dealing starting pitcher, Rick Porcello and gold glove center fielder, Jackie Bradley Jr. All of these potential trades are most likely motivated by a desire to reduce Boston’s payroll in order to sign players like Mookie Betts and Chris Sale next offseason, both of whom will command top dollar on the market.
Boston could still compete with the top contenders like Houston, the Yankees and Indians without players like Bradley Jr. or Rick Porcello on their roster. However, I was shocked when I read that the Red Sox are open to dealing Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts is coming off his best season in the major leagues since 2016 and finished this year batting .288 with 23 home runs and 103 RBIs. Finding a replacement for Bogaerts would certainly be a tough task to accomplish, but General Manager Dave Dombrowski has proven his ability to find good players off the scrap pile of extra infielders throughout the league.
What really interests me about the Bogaerts trade rumor is just how willing the Red Sox are to part ways with Bogaerts. If they truly just want to dump his salary, then finding a trade partner would be easier than catching a cold in a New England winter. This would be highly irresponsible for Boston though. Bogaerts is a premier player in Major League Baseball and he should be negotiated in a trade as such. One spot that may be an option for the Red Sox to deal Bogaerts is the Chicago White Sox. When Dombrowski was initially hired by the Red Sox, one of his first trades was with Chicago for franchise pitcher Chris Sale. The White Sox are an ideal trade partner because they are on the hunt for good young talent that they are willing to pay top dollar to keep on their roster. Money would not hinder the deal whatsoever. In addition to money not being a factor, the Red Sox could get back their top pitching prospect, Michael Kopech, which they dealt to Chicago in 2016 as apart of the Chris Sale trade. Kopech has developed nicely in Chicago’s minor league system and is one the top pitching prospects in the Major Leagues. This deal is very realistic for both teams and would help both parties. Boston is in desperate need for young talented prospects, specifically at starting pitcher while Chicago is in desperate need of established young talent to build around now. It is hard to tell what Dombrowski will opt to do this offseason in the trade market, he may opt to keep Bogaerts in hopes of winning another World Series title. However, I believe that if Chicago is willing to do a straight up deal, Bogaerts for Kopeck, Boston should jump at this opportunity. It is better to be a year too early to deal a star player than a year too late.