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Red Sox 'actively exploring' trade market; Five players they could target

Five players Red Sox could target in potential trades originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

As their free-agent options dwindle, the Boston Red Sox could shift their attention to the trade market ahead of the 2023 MLB season.

Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has replenished the organization’s farm system since joining the front office in late 2019. With a number of talented prospects in the pipeline, Boston suddenly has the ability to swing a significant deal or two if it is so inclined.

Tomase: Let’s not kid ourselves … Devers is next to go

Bloom is open to the idea, according to his recent conversation with The Athletic’s Chad Jennings.

“I actually think the trade market could be a really good route to adding impact to our club,” Bloom told Jennings on Monday. “We are looking (into) a lot of significant moves there as long as we can do it in a way that isn’t just robbing Peter to pay Paul, that’s actually moving us forward in 2023 and giving us a chance to make a significant step forward from where we sit today. …

“For us to do what we’re hoping to do this offseason, I think the trade route really needs to be a part of it,” he added. “That requires another club that is up for doing something — even if it comes at a cost — that still makes sense for us and makes us better. … It’s something we are very, very actively exploring.”

The trade market started to heat up Monday with rumored Red Sox target Sean Murphy being shipped to the Atlanta Braves in a three-team deal involving the Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers. Could Boston be the next club to make a move?

Here are five potential trade options that could help the Red Sox compete in 2023.

Age: 27

2022 stats: 10-10, 3.75 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 174 SO, 53 BB, 180 IP

Contract Status: Scheduled to become free agent after 2024 season

The Red Sox need to add a reliable arm (or two) to their rotation. Acquiring Pablo Lopez would be a nice start.

Lopez isn’t what one would consider an “ace,” but he’d likely wind up being Boston’s top starting pitcher. As of Monday, the Red Sox rotation consists of the injury-plagued Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Brayan Bello, James Paxton, Garrett Whitlock, and Tanner Houck. Unless Sale returns to form as a legitimate No. 1 — a long shot at this point — Lopez would be the de facto ace of that staff.

Age: 28

2022 stats: .262/.345/.461, 27 HR, 62 RBI

Contract Status: Scheduled to become free agent after 2025 season

We outlined why the Red Sox should make a move for Reynolds here. He’s an All-Star talent who would immediately upgrade the outfield and improve the lineup.

Boston recently signed Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida, however, so it’s understandable if Bloom is unwilling to trade the prospect haul it would take to acquire Reynolds. Still, adding another outfielder couldn’t hurt, and the Red Sox still need a designated hitter. There’s room for both outfielders on the 2023 roster.

Age: 26

2022 stats: .235/.302/.443, 27 HR, 74 RBI

Contract Status: First-year arbitration eligible

If Reynolds isn’t on the radar, Daulton Varsho could be an even better outfield trade option for the Red Sox. The former top prospect is an elite defensive outfielder who broke out with a big year at the plate in 2022. Boston’s outfield currently lacks pop, so making a splash for a young, promising talent like Varsho makes a ton of sense. He also brings versatility with his ability to play catcher.

Unfortunately for Sox fans, the Houston Astros reportedly have been engaged in trade talks with Arizona for Varsho.

Age: 27

2022 stats: .238/.298/.458, 31 HR, 98 RBI

Contract Status: Scheduled to become free agent after 2024 season

He’s no Xander Bogaerts, but Adames would help to fill the longtime shortstop’s void in the lineup and allow Trevor Story to stick to second base. While the Red Sox should still be in on top free-agent options Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson, an Adames trade would be a solid consolation prize.

Age: 27

2022 stats: 13-8, 2.88 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 198 SO, 53 BB, 200 IP

Contract Status: Scheduled to become free agent after 2024 season

We had to include at least one intriguing long shot on the list. The odds of a Bieber trade are slim, but the Red Sox should at least inquire about the 2020 Cy Young award winner. Bieber would be the bonafide ace this Red Sox team so desperately needs. Cleveland is unlikely to sign him to a lucrative contract extension, so now might be the time to see what it will take to pry him away.

Hint: It will take a massive prospect haul. That means someone like Marcelo Mayer, Brayan Bello, or Triston Casas probably would have to be involved. If so, we can expect Bloom to say “thanks, but no thanks.”



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