It's a Who Says No Wednesday!
There are offseason moves that sit right in front of us. Xander Bogaerts. Free agents. Tendering contracts. Tracking those must-watch items won't be all that difficult.
Trades? That's another matter.
The possibilities are endless, which is exactly why the Bradfo Sho podcast has started doing "Who Says No Wednesdays".
This week, Nat "Gordo" Gordon of the popular Twitter account Boston Sports Gordo (@BOSSportsGordo) jumps on in and offers Bradfo and Coop three possible deals that would help the 2023 Red Sox. So, who says no? (Listen to the entire podcast by clicking here.)
TRADE NO. 1
Red Sox receive: SP Lance Lynn (1 year, $18.5M, $18M team option).
White Sox receive: SP Nick Pivetta (2 years remaining on rookie deal, MLBTR projected $5.9M), SP Connor Seabold, one more low-level prospect. Gordo's reasoning:
- For the White Sox, they get younger (build around Robert/Jimenez/Cease).
- Chicago's payroll goes down. In 2021, its payroll was drastically higher than they've ever been, and it missed the playoffs.
- Better back-end starting pitching for Chicago.
- Trade allows White Sox to have financial space to add another SP in addition to Pivetta, who MLB Trade Rumors projects to make around $12.5M less than Lynn.
- Minor league pitching depth. Their best SP prospect, who MLB.com expects in the majors in 2023, is their #22 prospect, and he's the only one in their Top 30.
- The Red Sox need a front-line starter (Lynn had a 2.52 ERA in 86 innings in the second half of this season).
- Short commitments. Boston would be taking on salary instead of giving bigger prospects while getting a guy with intensity who can handle Boston.
TRADE NO. 2
Red Sox receive: OF Max Kepler (1 year, $8.5M, $10M team option), SP Kenta Maeda (1 year, $3.1M).
Twins receive: OF Jarren Duran, SP Thaddeus Ward, OF Gilberto Jimenez.
- The Twins may not want to pay $8.5M for Kepler who hit .227 with 9 homers and a .666 OPS.
- They could better allocate their resources as a mid-market team. Have a full rotation (Mahle, Sonny, Joe Ryan, Ober, Josh Winder plus the main prospect they got for Jose Berrios is knocking on the door).
- Minnesota acquires two prospects who have a chance to be good and make an impact at the big-league level fairly quickly, another who has struggled but was recently fairly highly regarded. They can give Duran chances at the corner OF positions while filling in occasionally for Buxton, who gets tons of off days and spends tons of time on the IL, in CF.
- For the Red Sox, both players only have one-year commitments attached.
- Kepler may have had a down 2022, but you wouldn't know it by looking at his Baseball Savant page. His numbers under the hood are super good. Great rebound candidate. He plays a very good defensive RF, ranking in the 97th percentile in outs above average last season playing almost exclusively in right field. Another guy who fits Bloom's demonstrated mold of taking on guys making a little too much money with just a year remaining on the contract.
- If Kepler rebounds, they'll be rewarded with a $10M team option for 2024. The Red Sox need homers. Kepler at his best hits a lot of them. Thirty-six in 2019. Had 17-or-more every full season except for this past year, and had a 30-homer pace in 2020.
- Maeda would be an ideal guy to compete with guys like Garrett Whitlock and Brayan Bello for rotation spots. If the Sox want to roll with a six-man rotation for a while to preserve the arms of Sale/Whitlock/Bello, they can. If they want Maeda in the pen, he has bullpen experience and only makes $3M. So not a waste of resources.
TRADE NO. 3
Red Sox receive: SP Shane Bieber (2 more years of control).
Guardians receive: SS Marcelo Mayer, SP Brayan Bello, SP Chris Murphy.
- Red Sox are in need of frontline starting pitching.
- As most smaller market teams often do, Cleveland could look to offload Bieber, who they aren't likely to be able to extend, when he has 2 years of control remaining to maximize the return.
- Cleveland would likely want at least one of the Red Sox's premier MLB-ready prospects (Triston Casas/Bello) in the trade because they are still looking to contend in 2023.
- Trade structure based on Luis Castillo to Mariners trade/Chris Sale to Red Sox trade. (Not sure if we will see the Red Sox trading multiple pieces of the young base they've worked to build, but if they want a controllable ace, that's probably the cost.)