After losing four straight to the Tampa Bay Rays, it’s time for the Red Sox to take a long look in the mirror.
A few months ago, the Boston Red Sox were coined likely trade deadline sellers and their season effectively over in May. That was the case…until it wasn’t.
Boston went on a memorable early-season run to cut down their Wild Card deficit and, eventually, move their way into playoff positioning.
Four losses against the Rays does not change that, despite how it feels. The Sox are only a half-game behind the Blue Jays as of this writing for the final Wild Card spot. The sky is not falling, yet.
But a critical series against the division-leading Yankees looms. Heading into the All-Star Break, what should Chaim Bloom’s strategy be moving forward? Can this team, as currently constructed, realistically make a deep run?
Could Red Sox actually be sellers at trade deadline?
This feels like a pretty definitive no, purely because even with a series loss in New York over the weekend, Boston would remain in solid Wild Card positioning.
However, Bloom must reckon with what lies ahead. JD Martinez is a free agent after this season, as is Xander Bogaerts. By no means is the Red Sox future set in stone.
Odds are, unless they undergo another sharp turnaround by early August, Boston will take a measured deadline approach. What does that mean? Think a little bit of timely buying, and potentially some selling that upsets a fanbase always ready to win.
Bogaerts is unlikely to be traded, and Rafael Devers is untouchable. Martinez, however, is on an expiring, expensive contract and will be 35 in late August.
As much as some fans like to rag on Bloom, he does know what he’s doing, especially when he has limited resources. Ironically enough, this trade deadline may bring back memories of his time in Tampa Bay, in terms of how much the Sox are willing to spend to win this season.
Serious questions lie ahead, and one series really can turn the tide.