The Boston Red Sox are playing like trade deadline buyers but the shopping spree should have its limit and not include these three players.
Right as we counted out the Boston Red Sox from competing this year, the boys in Beantown decided to show up for the party. They are back over .500 and very much alive in the American League Wild Card race.
The Red Sox have had the benefit of having some terrific hitters all year long. Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and J.D. Martinez have been smashing baseballs since the start. The pitching has been a little iffier but has managed to avoid disaster—all without Chris Sale taking the mound.
Suddenly, the Red Sox as trade deadline buyers. There may be a couple of players they should definitely target. What about those they should avoid?
1) Red Sox trade candidate to avoid: Corey Knebel
The Philadelphia Phillies are in a similar position as the Red Sox except they haven’t gotten over the hump. Firing Joe Girardi seems to have helped them as they managed to win three straight games against the Los Angeles Angels (but who hasn’t done that over the last half-month?) and then take down Josh Hader on Monday.
If the Phillies do end up as sellers, Knebel and his one-year contract would be an enticing one for many teams to look at.
For the Red Sox, it’s not a risk worth taking if the plan would be to have him continue closing. Knebel signed a deal with the Phillies to rebuild his free agent stock. So far this season, he has been paying tribute to Charles Dickens with performances falling into the “best of times” category and others for the “worst of times.”
The Red Sox definitely should look closely into acquiring a closer at the trade deadline. Knebel is fine as a setup man. For the final three outs of the game, they need to go with someone a little more consistent in the role over the last few years.