At 11-22, the Red Sox are one of the league’s few clear sellers. In recent days, teams have been connected to each of Matt Barnes, Christian Vázquez, Kevin Pillar and Jackie Bradley, Jr. While those players all look like strong trade candidates, star shortstop Xander Bogaerts and designated hitter J.D. Martinez are unlikely to be traded before Monday’s deadline, hears Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter).
That’s not particularly surprising, as Bogaerts and Martinez were always something of longshots to move because of their contractual situations. The former signed a six year, $120MM extension last April that’ll pay him around $3.5MM the rest of this season and guarantee him $20MM every year from 2021-25. For a player of Bogaerts’ caliber, that’s a more than reasonable rate in a vacuum. But teams are often reluctant to take on hefty financial commitments mid-season, and that’s all the more true in a year when every team is facing massive, pandemic-driven revenue losses.
It’s possible the Sox could explore a Bogaerts trade this offseason, although getting a deal done would hardly be much easier. His extension comes with a potential full no-trade clause that will kick in September 6, meaning Bogaerts could block any offseason move. He also has an opt-out clause after 2022, further complicating matters. If Boagerts continues to perform at an elite level, he’d very likely exercise that opt-out and hit free agency two-plus years from now. If he were to underperform or get bogged down by injury, any acquiring team would be on the hook for the entirety of the deal at fairly significant rates.
Those logistical challenges cast doubt on the likelihood of a trade, but Bogaerts continues to offer fantastic production. He’s been the seventh most valuable position player by fWAR since the start of 2018, hitting a robust .299/.372/.541 (137 wRC+) with solid defense at shortstop. Disappointing 2020 aside, Boston doesn’t seem ticketed for any sort of large-scale rebuild. They’d certainly be happy to continue slotting Bogaerts into the middle of the lineup if they’re not bowled over by a great offer.
While Bogaerts has continued to perform up to his lofty standards, Martinez has not. The 33-year-old would’ve been an obvious trade candidate had he been hitting anywhere near his 2018-19 levels, when he combined for a .317/.392/.593 line (154 wRC+) with 79 home runs in 1306 plate appearances. He’s off to a miserable start in 2020, though, mustering just a .207/.295/.371 mark through 31 games. More worrisome, Martinez’s average exit velocity is down over two miles per hour from last season (and over four MPH from his 2018 peak).
One poor month doesn’t negate Martinez’s elite track record, but it makes him a risky buy for potential contenders. He’s due a little over $4MM for the rest of this season and is guaranteed $38.75MM over the next two years. Martinez can opt out at the end of this season or next; while he once seemed a strong candidate to test free agency after 2020, it’s unlikely he’d do so unless he turns things around quickly. With ownership groups across the league hesitant to absorb much money, it seems Martinez will try to recapture his old form down the stretch at Fenway.
*spare me your cheating comments* I think Martinez has taken a serious hit this year as a result of the new replay rules. The man is insanely diligent in studying in-game video and tweaking his swing to match the pitcher’s rhythm.
I think he’ll eventually find a new way to prepare and figure things out, and slumps are just naturally going to look worse in the shortened season. JD will be just fine.
Saw Devers was partially blaming his off and on season to not being able to go into the clubhouse between AB’s also and review AB’s, something JD kind of started with the Sox.
make america green again
Devers problem is the covid 15lbs he put on
Randy Red Sox
He is still playing stellar 3B
With Moreland gone, how many throwing errors will Devers have in the remaining games?
I know that’s the official line. Reality is, is isn’t like a video game – mechanics are about repetition, not something that is overhauled each AB.
You know what IS more likely? Looking at an individual pitcher’s delivery and finding a tell in release points or motion somewhere else that let’s you know what is coming.
It’s not stealing signs, but it is either useful if you can identify one thing to swing at – or one to avoid – in real time for a particular game.
I always thought JD was overpaid and too good to be true.
“too good to be true” he had 6 straight seasons of a 139 OPS+ or better lol
A pro like he is, he’ll find a way this off season to regain his stroke. Do you think he was going to video in between at bats when he found his stroke and was released anyway by the Astros? Boy did the Tigers benefit then.
Agreed in that he will figure it out. I still say if he gives up his option, extend him a year at the same money. His body of work in Boston clearly has been well worth the bucks and this year should be ignored except for injuries or others who have been on a multi year decline.
All players start to decline at some point. Martinez may be at that point.
Theoretically you’re right but we’re still talking five weeks into a typical season. Give JDM the benefit based on his history.
Is his craving for video for pitch tipping or for his swing? For such a dire video need and his current results I think it is the former.
Or he’s 33 and lost his hand eye coordination and will never be the same?
Stop the nonsense. Five weeks into a season.
At least JD Martinez is not an overhyped and overrated player like Cody Bellinger is.
And dumbest comment of the day goes to…
Give me Bellinger over JD.Anyday
At least JD Martinez is not an overhyped & overrated player like Cody Bellinger Is.
Bogey, Devers and Verdugo should be the only untouchables in Boston.
For a monster haul Devers should be available.
There’s plenty of corner infielders coming up the pipeline that could replace him.
And he wasn’t mentioned in Article besides Verdugo,the Injured Sale.
Maybe a package deal with JBJ,Barnes,Perez to maybe Dodgers or Braves.
Vasquez to Reds.
Devers to Cardinals.
Totally agree, ASF.
Randy Red Sox
Very good point but the Sox would have to get a BA top 25 ranked pitching prospect and more to get Devers. He IS a GREAT hitter.
If bloom was creative Devers to ATL would be interesting.
Package Perez and Devers. You should be able to get a young pitcher, one of pache/waters, and a minor prospect. Add in Barnes and things get really interesting.
3B has been a question mark for them, they have the prospects to get a deal done, and both guys are affordable. Perez has cheap and short term, things AA likes, and Devers could stabilize things for years to come.
That’s the trade I’d be trying to work.
Vasquez should be untouchable. They don’t have a replacement for him. He’s under contract for a reasonable price.
Depends on the return and other moves Boston will make this off season. If they don’t come up with strong pitching for 2021, Vazquez should be traded as his value will never be higher than now through the end of the year.
Xander is the glue on the team. In my mind he’s the only untouchable. He will eventually be a Ortiz, Williams, Havlicec, Orr, Russell Legend. As he continues to grow his influence locally will grow. It’s Xander’s team. Keep him, Extend him . Don’t let him leave.
Randy Red Sox
Strongly agree, X is a stud
No one will trade for JD Martinez, because there is no way he opts out of $19.35 million for 2021 and 2022. He will not get that in free agency. I said when he signed the contract he would be with the Red Sox 5 years and I still think that. No one else will pay a DH $38.7 million over the next 2 years….
If this was normal times, he’d be tradable this off season and if the NL were to keep the DH, it would be a nice but not super return.
AL east Red Sox are an afterthought for a couple years at least! Now the heck are the rays winning so much after treading away best hitter from last year and loosing 11 pitchers from 26 man roster??
By having the best Front Office in MLB for several years now. The big question is how they can be first place while losing all of their executives every off season.
Can’t be the “Best Font Office in Baseball” when you have ZERO CHAMPIONSHIPS to show for it. Sorry
Bloom needs to get what he can for Barnes , Pillar and JBJ.
The sox need to build around Vazquez whose contract is team friendly for a catcher.
They will have the inside track if they want to resign Moreland and Pillar as well as plenty of free cash to fix the pitching. The key to 2020 will be the health of Sale and E Rod.
How can they trade JD if his exit velocity is down?
It will take him forever to get out of town!
Trade them all. Time to cut this bloated budget. And these players aren’t getting younger.
What do the Sox have to lose and what does JDM have to lose. So Bloom asks him where he wants to play the next two years here or Arizona? Work out a deal with Arizona-he ops in and we get some pieces we need.
JDM, Mookie, Price, JBJ, Mooreland, Workman, Hembree, Barnes,Pillar –$90M off the payroll–9 players making up more than 2/3 of the Rays payroll ($110 M).
Next year will be a Partial Rebuild: We should have Sale and ERod back in 2021.
I think there will be a lot of Free Agent signings.
I hope we at least get a glimpse of Jeter Downs, Dalbec, Durran, Houck, Feltman, Darwinzon, Taylor and others before the 2020 season closes. In addition to the 2 pitchers from the Phillies.
Hoping the Mets can get Vázquez from the Red Sox and maybe Barnes
Vázquez, Barnes, and JD > NY Mets for Dominguez, Ginn, and Dom