Jon Heyman reports that the Boston Red Sox have shown hesitancy in dangling rehabbing third baseman Will Middlebrooks as a potential deadline trade chip, and he has offered a pretty compelling argument for why the Red Sox might prefer to hold onto Middlebrooks rather than send him packing now.
It’s all about hoarding valuable commodities so the team can make a bigger deal down the road, as Heyman explains:
Middlebrooks, if he can show something in the second half, could be seen as a possible piece in case Boston tries to make a run at Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton.
Heyman points out that Middlebrooks himself would not be nearly enough to get that trade to happen, but he also reminds us that the Marlins did show interest in Middlebrooks last winter and might want him included in any deal for Stanton.
It’s wonderful down-the-road speculation for Red Sox fans, but it doesn’t do a hell of a lot for them in the present. Boston fans want to hear about a package for Stanton now, so they can feel a glimmer of hope for the second half.
But Miami is in no hurry to deal Stanton before the deadline and will more likely dangle him in the offseason. Boston may be a player for the slugger at that time, and Will Middlebrooks may be one of the pieces the Red Sox offer up in exchange.