Red Sox

These hopeless Red Sox should be ready to trade players — but which ones?

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
There may be some value in trading J.D. Martinez, who turns 35 in August and has just nine homers this season.

Chaim Bloom spoke to reporters for approximately 35 minutes Wednesday, politely saying nothing.

A few hours later, his undermanned team, left short because of injuries and Bloom’s do-nothing roster construction, lost to the Guardians, 7-6.

The loss was their seventh in eight games, 11th in 13 games, and 17th in 23 games this month. They are now dead-last in the American League East at 49-50, have a losing record at home (24-25), and per baseball-reference have a 12.7 percent chance of making the postseason.

With 50 of their 63 remaining games against teams that are .500 or better, 12.7 percent seems wildly optimistic considering the Red Sox have not won a series this season against the four teams above them in the AL East standings.


Wednesday’s loss was just one more piece of evidence supporting what has been obvious for most of this month.

The Red Sox are not recovering from this, not this year.

They should be sellers at the trade deadline.

The Red Sox’ current situation, which I’d describe as annoying and in the fast lane toward irrelevance now that the Patriots have started training camp, is due in part to lousy injury luck. Trevor Story got hit by a pitch. Chris Sale got hit by a line drive. Rafael Devers couldn’t swing from the heels and let an injury heal at the same time. Capable but injury-prone pitchers like Michael Wacha and Rich Hill were capable before getting injured.

But Bloom, the chief baseball officer, put together a flawed team in the offseason, and he has neglected to fix those flaws in-season. Franchy Cordero, who made three errors at first base Wednesday night, is the avatar for Bloom’s failings.

I’m not old enough to have seen Dick “Dr. Strangeglove” Stuart wield his tungsten mitt for the ‘60s Sox, so Cordero qualifies as the worst Red Sox first baseman I’ve ever seen. He has eight errors at first base in 42 games and 299 innings this season. In 396 games and 3,155 innings at first base from 2005-08, Kevin Youkilis totaled nine errors at first.


Wednesday’s three errors are part of Cordero’s permanent record. But they really belong to Bloom. Cordero is not a first baseman. He shouldn’t be asked to subject himself to such embarrassment by attempting to do something he is incapable of doing in his quest to stay in the big leagues.

The myriad injuries are a reason for the team’s collapse, but the absence of depth behind the regulars is inexcusable. Bloom has let obvious holes on the roster go unfilled for months, and for some crazy reason, I don’t think recent minor league pickups Danny Santana and Abraham Almonte will solve them.

So here we are, less than a week from the Aug. 2 trade deadline, facing this: A playoff berth, let alone a pennant, is a sucker’s daydream. Time for the white flag.

So whom to deal? J.D. Martinez, Nate Eovaldi, and Christian Vázquez would all have appeal to genuine playoff contenders. All are pending free agents, but a competitive market could lead to the Red Sox receiving a decent prospect return as Bloom pursues his apparent Mission Impossible of cramming 60 players onto the 40-man roster.

Bloom also could move assorted other pitchers and perhaps versatile Kiké Hernández if he’s healthy , but I believe I have their most appealing yard-sale items listed in the proper order in the previous paragraph.


Martinez turns 35 on Aug. 21. His power is down (9 homers), but he does have 30 doubles and is as prepared as any hitter in baseball. He has been an outstanding postseason performer (.303/.381/.596 with 9 homers in 128 plate appearances) and the universal designated hitter expands his market.

Eovaldi hasn’t looked right in three July starts (10.38 ERA in 13 innings) since returning from the disabled list, but he’s a risk worth taking. He was one of the best pitchers in the American League last year (he led the league with a 2.91 FIP), and his selflessness and guts in the postseason are part of Red Sox lore. Why do I have this hunch that Dave Dombrowski would love to bring him to the Phillies?

Vázquez is having a solid season at the plate (.281/.326/.422) in the final year of his deal, but he is occasionally lackadaisical defensively, and catching doesn’t often seem to be a trade-deadline priority for teams. But he would make some sense for the Astros or another team that covets a quality catcher and misses out on the Cubs’ Willson Contreras.

I should note that Bloom did make one notable acknowledgement in his remarks Wednesday, though saying that “we haven’t had any discussions internally or with any other club about them” in regard to Devers and Xander Bogaerts is more a declaration of common sense than anything else. Now, how about making either/both of them an offer that doesn’t sound like a punch line to an unfunny joke?


I suspect that Bloom will trade a couple if not all of the aforementioned Red Sox at the deadline, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he brought in an established player or two as well if the contracts and costs are good value.

As for the Juan Soto sweepstakes, it seems the Red Sox would prefer to develop a player of that caliber — as if generational talents are readily available in every draft and amateur free agent pool — rather than acquire one right when they’re getting expensive. But maybe Bloom will surprise us with an offer to the Nationals.

You know what dawned on me as I was pecking this out? If the Red Sox do deal Martinez, Eovaldi, and Vázquez, the only remaining, currently active members of the Red Sox’ 2018 World Series champs who have had continuous service with the franchise will be Bogaerts, Devers … and middling reliever Ryan Brasier. That’s who’s left from 44 players used by the Red Sox’ 119-win juggernaut of just four seasons ago. And who knows how much longer they’ll be here.

Sale is hurt, Matt Barnes is trying to find his repertoire in Worcester, and Jackie Bradley Jr. is back after a Milwaukee detour.

Bogaerts and Devers. That’s who’s left from 44 players used by the Red Sox’ 119-win juggernaut of just four seasons ago. And who knows how much longer they’ll be here?

Three thoughts about that: Circumstances in baseball always change faster than we expect. It feels as though some players that saw time for that team — Hanley Ramirez and Brandon Phillips, Ian Kinsler and Eduardo Núñez — were here no more recently than a decade ago. And Boston sports history is going to remember Dombrowski well.


By the way, four more losses and the Red Sox will have as many as they had in the entire ‘18 regular season (54).

It’s been a long and rapid fall from such greatness. And right now, with the potentially transformative deadline just ahead, it feels like it will be a long time before the Red Sox are great again.


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