The Red Sox are an even 33-33 after tonight’s win over the Yankees, and they remain 3.5 games behind the Blue Jays just to reach fourth place in the hyper-competitive AL East. Barring a big surge over the next month, the Sox might decide to look ahead to 2024, and the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham notes that the club has a number of interesting trade chips if it did opt to sell. Beyond the multiple players (i.e. Justin Turner, James Paxton, Adam Duvall, Enrique Hernandez) who could be free agents this winter, Abraham writes that the Sox could offer up more controllable options like Kenley Jansen or Chris Martin, who are both under contract for the 2024 season.
Such a decision, of course, would hinge on how the Red Sox are preparing to approach 2024, since naturally a quality closer like Jansen would be expected to play a big role on a would-be contender. In Abraham’s view, Jansen could be “the big prize” of Boston’s likeliest trade chips, given his postseason track record and how many teams are in need of bullpen help. The Red Sox could also see value in selling relatively high on Jansen considering that he turns 36 in September, and that his solid 3.48 ERA is undermined by a 12.8% walk rate that is among the highest of his career. Salary could also be a factor, as Jansen is owed $16MM in 2024.
More from around the AL East…
- Red Sox manager Alex Cora gave Abraham and other reporters some updates on injured players, but the news isn’t good for either Adalberto Mondesi or Wyatt Mills. Mondesi is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in April 2022, and while he had been taking part in extended Spring Training, he doesn’t appear to be making any further progress or getting any closer to minor league games. As for Mills, the right-hander had a setback in his recovery from elbow inflammation that sidelined him during Spring Training. Both Mondesi and Mills (acquired from the Royals in separate transactions during the offseason) are on the 60-day injured list and have yet to play in 2023.
- Ryan Weber is leaning towards a PRP shot and a non-surgical rehab plan to help fix his UCL strain, the Yankees reliever told Gary Phillips of the New York Daily News. Tommy John surgery might yet be a possibility, but Weber wants to investigate his options in order to try and avoid such a long-term rehab. Weber was placed on the 15-day injured list last week and was immediately shifted to the 60-day IL, so he won’t be back until early August at the absolute earliest.
- Brandon Belt left Saturday’s game due to tightness in his left hamstring, and wasn’t part of the Blue Jays’ 7-6 win over the Twins today. Following Sunday’s game, Jays manager John Schneider told MLB.com and other media that Belt’s MRI didn’t reveal any structural damage, so Belt will remain day-to-day. Since Toronto doesn’t play on Monday, the hope is that another day off will allow Belt to return to the lineup for the start of a big series with the Orioles on Tuesday. Belt is hitting .263/.378/.434 with four home runs over 180 plate appearances in his first season with the Jays, as after a very slow start, Belt has quietly been one of baseball’s hotter hitters over the past month.