It isn’t unusual for the Red Sox to bring a 20-year-old prospect into the heat of a pennant race, as club promoted Xander Bogaerts in 2013 and Yoan Moncada just last season. As WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford points out, however, he difference between those callups and today’s news about Boston’s promotion of Rafael Devers is that Bogaerts and Moncada were being counted on just as supporting pieces to an already-strong roster. In Devers’ case, he is coming into a Red Sox lineup that has struggled with consistency all season and has been thoroughly lacking at third base. It’s quite a bit of pressure for such a young player, and Bradford feels that the multiple slumping regulars in the Sox lineup need pick things up, regardless of how Devers performs.
Here’s more from around the AL East…
- The Red Sox have been scouting Reds shortstop Zack Cozart, CSNNE.com’s Evan Drellich reports (via Twitter), though with the caveat that teams around the league are doing their due diligence on many options at this time of year. MLBTR’s Jeff Todd cited Cozart as a possible creative choice for Boston’s third base problem last month, and obviously the Sox will continue to explore possibilities until they get a sense of what Devers can do in the bigs. Cozart has been on fire at the plate this year, though as Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes, the shortstop is still being careful about re-aggravating the right quad injury that led to a brief DL stint in June.
- The Blue Jays front office “is split on whether the team should be broken up and traded away,” Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. Team president Mark Shapiro suggested earlier this month that the Jays could explore both buying and selling at the deadline, and more recent reports had the team open to trading pending free agents while preferring to keep players that could help Toronto compete in 2018. Given how several Jays key veterans are either experiencing off-years or could be in decline, it isn’t surprising that there are questions as to whether the Jays can reasonably count on these players to rebound. A big sell-off at the deadline would help replenish the farm system, though with some good controllable talent and one more year of Josh Donaldson under contract, one can also make a case that the Jays should make another push next year.
- With Jacoby Ellsbury looking like an expendable part on the Yankees roster, ESPN’s Buster Olney (subscription required) looks at some of the potential large contracts New York could take on as a way of facilitating a trade for the outfielder, who is owed roughly $75MM between now and the end of the 2020 season. Olney’s names (all speculative) range from other unfavorable contracts like Jordan Zimmermann to more valuable assets like Giancarlo Stanton, though obviously much more than just Ellsbury would need to be included in a Stanton trade. Ellsbury has full control over his future via a no-trade clause, though Olney wonders if the outfielder would accept a deal to a team that could offer more playing time if Ellsbury becomes the odd man out in the Yankee outfield.