Despite a depleted farm system and a payroll that is dangerously close to crossing the $246MM maximum luxury tax penalty line for the second straight year, the Red Sox have “confidence” that “they can make an impactful deal before the deadline,” ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweets. The Sox picked up Andrew Cashner earlier this month, though they still have needs in the bullpen and rotation, plus possibly the bench. Relief pitching seems to be Boston’s top priority, given that the club has been linked to such names as Kirby Yates, Ken Giles, and Daniel Hudson on the rumor mill.
To this end, Olney opines that the Mets’ Edwin Diaz could doubly fit Boston as a prominent upgrade at relatively low cost, as Diaz isn’t arbitration-eligible until this offseason. Then again, several other teams are interested in Diaz, and since the Mets have put a big price tag on the closer despite his struggles in 2019, the Red Sox might not have the minor league depth to win a bidding war.
More from around the AL East…
- The Orioles are discussing Trey Mancini with “multiple suitors,” MLB Network’s Jon Morosi (Twitter link). I looked at Mancini as a trade candidate back in May, and he has kept raking ever since, with 24 homers and a .279/.338/.531 slash line over 429 plate appearances this season. Mancini isn’t eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season, though since the O’s may not be out of rebuilding mode even in three years’ time, it makes sense that they would see if they could strike a big deal while Mancini’s value may be at its highest.
- Orioles left-hander John Means is hopeful that his current stint on the injured list will only result in a single missed start, as he told MLB.com’s Joe Trezza and other reporters that an MRI on his left biceps didn’t reveal any structural damage, and only minor rotator cuff inflammation. Means has been one of the few bright spots on the pitching front for Baltimore this season, posting a 3.12 ERA over 98 innings and representing the O’s in the All-Star team.
- Sunday’s three-player trade between the Rays and Indians was likely inspired by both a 40-man roster crunch, and July 31 being the new absolute trade deadline this season, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal writes (Twitter links). Both Hunter Wood and Christian Arroyo were out of options next season, plus the Rays needed to create at least one 40-man roster opening for the newly-acquired Eric Sogard plus any other players they could add in trades before the deadline. Plus, Tyler Glasnow and Anthony Banda need 40-man spots when they’re activated off the 60-day injured list. In past years, the Rays could have dealt with Glasnow and Banda’s situations in August when they were ready to be activated, but this year, they felt the need to act early to create roster space rather than designate the likes of Wood or Arroyo in August and lose them for nothing on a waiver claim. It will be interesting to see if we get more deals of this ilk over the next few days, as teams look to do some roster clearance now since their options are so limited after July 31.