Is the Adalberto Mondesi trade enough to replace Trevor Story in the infield for the Boston Red Sox?
With Trevor Story potentially out for the regular season and Xander Bogaerts now with the San Diego Padres, the Boston Red Sox have been on scouring the market for shortstops.
The free-agent market includes Elvis Andrus, Josh Harrison and Andrelton Simmons, among others. While the Red Sox surely had conversation with each players’ representation, they had expressed interest in recent days in Kansas City Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi.
And on Tuesday morning, the Red Sox finalized an agreement to acquire Mondesi and a player to be named later in exchange for reliever Josh Taylor.
Is Adalberto Mondesi enough to replace Trevor Story?
In short: No.
The Red Sox view Story, 30, as a core player. After all, they are only one year removed from signing him to a six-year, $140 million contract. While he struggled last season, hitting .238/.303/.434 with 16 home runs and 66 RBI, the organization believed he would bounce back this season. Then the elbow injury happened and with all the top free-agent options signed, left chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom in a tough spot.
That said, Mondesi is intriguing. Really intriguing. He’s among baseball’s most athletic players and when healthy, has produced offensively (he hit .276/.306/.498 with 14 home runs in 2018). The problem is that Mondesi has struggled to stay healthy — he has played between 15-102 games in each of his seven-year major-league career — and has played a combined 109 games the last three seasons.
Mondesi, who is entering the final season of his contract, was a prime change-of-scenery candidate. He can contribute against left-handed pitchers and play above-average defense at shortstop. He has the ability to play multiple positions in the infield. And he won’t have much pressure in Boston, as the organization plans to mix and match in the middle infield with Mondesi, Enrique Hernandez and Christian Arroyo.
It remains to be seen if the Red Sox are done addressing the middle infield. It would behoove Bloom and the front office to scour the market in case one of Andrus, Harrison or another player via trade can be acquired at a discount.
But while the Mondesi trade won’t fully replace Story, acquiring the 27-year-old infielder for a 29-year-old reliever who didn’t pitch in 2022 makes all the sense in the world for the Red Sox.