The Red Sox may not be able to land Mets closer Edwin Diaz by the trade deadline, so they’re turning their attention to other relievers on the market. San Francisco closer Will Smith is the reliever who has “most intrigued” the Red Sox over the past week, Sean McAdam of BostonSportsJournal.com tweets. The Red Sox have also shown interest in Diamondbacks left-hander Andrew Chafin, per McAdam, and Blue Jays right-hander Daniel Hudson, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link).
Smith would clearly give the Red Sox the stable game-ending option they’ve lacked this year, but it doesn’t appear the team will be able to swing a deal for him. They’ve found the Giants’ asking price for Smith to be prohibitive, McAdam reports. Smith isn’t signed past this season – one of the reasons the Red Sox aren’t aggressively pursuing him – though it’s no surprise the Giants want a haul back for him. They’re still in playoff contention, for one, and Smith’s eminently affordable ($4.225MM) and highly effective. The 30-year-old has logged a 2.72 ERA/2.77 FIP with 12.82 K/9 and 2.14 BB/9 in 46 1/3 innings this season. He has also converted 26 of 28 save opportunities.
Meanwhile, either Chafin or Hudson could help improve the Red Sox’s setup situation. This is the latest in a growing line of solid seasons for the 29-year-old Chafin, who has pitched to a 4.17 ERA/3.69 FIP with 11.05 K/9 and 3.19 BB/9 across 36 2/3 frames. He also ranks second among all relievers in infield fly rate (24.2 percent), has held left-handed batters to a subpar .272 weighted on-base average, earns a relatively meager salary ($1.945MM) and comes with another year of arbitration control. Unsurprisingly, Chafin’s drawing plenty of interest from around the league – not just Boston – Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
Hudson, 32, would be the easiest reliever in this trio to acquire. He’s had a productive year, though peripherals don’t quite back up his above-average run prevention, and would be a pure rental for his next team. Nevertheless, Hudson’s the cheapest of the group ($1.5MM salary) and has been popular in the rumor mill leading up to the deadline. The hard-throwing journeyman has notched a 3.00 ERA/4.21 FIP with 9.0 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 over 48 innings. Righties have mustered a weak .276 wOBA off him.