Red Sox rumor roundup: Who Boston could pursue ahead of the MLB trade deadline

The Red Sox are still reportedly in contact with the Orioles about Manny Machado.

Manny Machado points upward as he scores on his solo home run off Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello.
Manny Machado points upward as he scores on his solo home run off Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello. –The Associated Press

With baseball’s trade deadline just three weeks away, the action is sure to heat up as the Red Sox look to solidify their roster for a postseason run. One area of need appears to be the bullpen, and the rumors and reports are already swirling.

Here’s a look at the latest reports connecting the Red Sox to possible trade targets:

A move for Machado?

With the Baltimore Orioles floundering in last place, it seems clear that the team will be sellers at the deadline. The main attraction? Shortstop Manny Machado, writes Nick Cafardo.

The Yankees have expressed interest in Machado, and according to the Baltimore Sun, the Red Sox have also been “in recent contact’’ with the Orioles.

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Of course, the Red Sox are set at shortstop with Xander Bogaerts, but Machado has experience at third base as well. Would the Red Sox dangle Rafael Devers to land Machado? Chad Finn wrote last month that Machado, who will become a free agent at the end of the season, would come at too great of a cost for the Sox. And Alex Speier made the case for why trading Devers, who is just 21 and won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2023 season, makes little sense.

What about second base?

This is shaping up to be a lost season for Dustin Pedroia, who played in just three games this year and is heading back to Arizona to rehab his knee.

The Red Sox have made do with Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt splitting time at the position, and last month signed veteran four-time Gold Glover Brandon Phillips, who is 37 years old and currently getting in shape in Lowell. There are other possibilities, writes Cafardo.

Minnesota’s Brian Dozier, 31, will become a free agent at the end of the season and could potentially be had at a small cost given his .223 batting average this year.

The Marlins might be willing to make Starlin Castro available. Castro, 28, is signed through 2020 and is scheduled to make close to $12 million in 2019 and $16 million in 2020.

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The Reds could part ways with Scooter Gennett, who at 28 leads the National League in batting average and was named to the All-Star team.

Red Sox inquire about Marlins relievers

The Miami Marlins are 18 games under .500 and 14.5 out of first place in the National League East, where they reside in last place. It stands to reason that the Marlins would be sellers at the trade deadline. According to MLB.com, the Red Sox are among the teams that have contacted the Marlins about relievers Kyle Barraclough, Adam Conley, and Drew Steckenrider.

Barraclough, 28, is the Marlins closer and would seem to be the top choice. The right-hander has appeared in 41 games and has just a 1.37 ERA in 39.1 innings. He was named the National League reliever of the month for June after he converted all seven of his save opportunities. He did not allow a run in 12 innings and surrendered only one hit in 36 at-bats.

The South Florida Sentinel reports that the Marlins aren’t looking to trade Barraclough, who will be eligible for salary arbitration after this season. The asking price for an arm that could anchor their bullpen over the next few years would be very high.

Conley, 28, is a lefthander who has pitched 21.2 innings in 21 appearances, striking out 26 while walking just nine batters.

Steckenrider, 27, throws righty and has made 43 appearances, striking out 46 and walking 18 while posting a 2.95 ERA. He became the first Marlins pitcher to make 14 or more appearances in a calendar month without allowing a run, and has excelled as a setup man.

Fernando Rodney could be on the block

The Minnesota Twins may be in second place in the AL Central, but they are eight games under .500 and 8.5 behind division leader Cleveland. That adds up to Minnesota closer Fernando Rodney possibly being available as the deadline approaches. The hard-throwing righthander is 41, but he has recorded 20 saves for a team that has won just 40 games. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Red Sox are taking a look at Rodney, who played for the Detroit Tigers when Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was with the organization.

Red Sox interested in Reds reliever

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In the NL Central, the Cincinnati Reds are in last place and 14 games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers, but they do have righty reliever Raisel Iglesias, 28, who has appeared in 37 games, recording 18 saves and compiling a 2.48 ERA. Cafardo writes that both the Red Sox and Astros are interested in Iglesias, who is signed through 2020 at $5 million for each of the next two seasons and can become an unrestricted free agent for the 2021 season.

Rotation help?

The Red Sox could also look to bolster their rotation. Former Yankee Nathan Eovaldi, now with the Tampa Bay Rays, is on several teams’ wish list, including the Red Sox, according to MLB.com. The Rays have played well and are two games over .500, but that puts them in third place in the AL East, 16 games behind the Red Sox. They may wait right up to the trading deadline before deciding to make a move. In his last start for the Rays , he threw six perfect innings against the Mets before Brandon Nimmo led off the seventh inning with a single to right field.

Eovaldi missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery,and is in the final year of his contract.