Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How Will Red Sox Respond To Yankees Trade For Todd Frazier & David Robertson?

Over the weekend, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that a trade of Todd Frazier from the White Sox to the Red Sox was inevitable.  Boston needed a third baseman with power and Chicago was looking to add more prospects to fuel their rebuilding process.  It looked to be the proverbial "win-win" type of trade.

Rosenthal was correct that Frazier would be traded.  He was just wrong about where he was going.

Last night the Yankees shipped three prospects and relief pitcher Tyler Clippard to the White Sox in exchange for Frazier and relief pitchers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle.  In one deal, the Yankees not only added to their lineup and improved their bullpen but they also prevented the Red Sox from addressing their issues at both third base and the bullpen.

The Yankees, 3.5-games behind the Red Sox in the A.L. East and currently the second Wild Card team in the A.L., have fired the first shot in the 2017 baseball arms race.  They believe they are good enough to win a championship - even though they need to add at least one more starting pitcher to be a legitimate title team - and they've made a move that corresponds with that belief.

Now the attention turns to Dave Dombrowski.  Since taking over the Red Sox baseball operations in August 2015, "Trader Dave" has utilized the deep farm system he inherited from Ben Cherington in deals that brought Craig Kimbrel, Drew Pomeranz, and Chris Sale to Boston.  He's never been shy to trade the future for the present and it looks like he'll have to dig back in to the remaining talent pool to improve this year's team in order to allow it to contend for a championship.

One third baseman to keep tabs on is Mike Moustakas of the Royals.  Kansas City seems to be falling out of contention quickly and with Moustakas set to become a free agent this winter, the Royals may look to deal him for prospects.

Moustakas is a left handed hitting slugger that would add much needed pop to the Red Sox lineup. His 2017 triple slash is currently .267/.299/.546 and he has 25 home runs and 55 RBI.  He also has postseason experience, helping the Royals win consecutive A.L. Pennants in 2014 and 2015 and the 2015 World Series.

Philadelphia's Pat Neshak, Detroit's Justin Wilson, and Chicago's Anthony Swarzak are all candidates to be acquired to improve the Red Sox bullpen.

Whoever they go after, expect Dombrowski to act quickly.  He needs to improve the roster quickly with the Rays and Yankees coming on strong in the East.

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