Digesting what Chaim Bloom had to say on OMF Wednesday, one Hot Stove idea got at least a little more interesting.
The Red Sox should call on Blake Snell and/or Kevin Kiermaier.
Why did Bloom's words advance the idea? Because before you can entertain such trade scenarios there has to be willingness by the Rays to make a deal with one of their American League East rivals.
It was former Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos who said during the offseason leading up to Roy Halladay ultimately being dealt that, sure, he would trade with division foes, but it just might cost them a little more.
Bloom, of course, has great insight to how Tampa Bay might be thinking when it comes to pulling off such trades. It's why his explanation of the approach with Lou Merloni, Glenn Ordway and Christian Fauria should be noted.
"Having been there, I don't think so," said Bloom when asked if he felt the Rays would be reluctant to deal with the Red Sox. "I think that's one of the things I learned over times there is that you have to be fearless. If you believe in your process, even if it's something that is risky, even if it's something that might be unpopular, you have to be willing to follow that. A lot of the things that worked out over time there were not that popular upfront or they were perceived as being risky out of the shoot and it just came down to if you have good people and a good process and you believe in it you have a chance to make some gains. Sometimes to do that you have to be willing to take some incoming upfront. But if you get scared off by that or you get scared off by maybe this will look bad or what will people say, things like that, then you're going to miss out on some opportunities. So obviously there are a lot more eyeballs on our organization, no question, but that's mindset I've tried to take here."
It's a start.
But once that call is made, and an acceptance to start the discussion is hatched, then comes the reality of what it might take to pull off such deals.
Kiermaier has two more years of arbitration eligibility, while Snell possesses three. But keep in mind that this is a Rays organization that is still very much strapped for cash -- (with both players expected to make upwards of $10 million in 2021) -- and has a history of trading players a year too early instead of a year too late.
Kiermaier is obviously a good fit for the Red Sox because they need a centerfielder and, defensively, he is one of the best in the game. The 30-year-old has taken a downturn offensively in recent years, but would automatically represent perhaps the most athletic player on the diamond for a team in desperate need for such a dynamic.
Snell is a whole different ballgame.
Remember when the Red Sox went all-in to get Chris Sale? At the time the lefty had three years of control left on his contract, same as Snell. He was heading into his Age 28 season, same as Snell. And, of course, we remember the cost of doing business when it came to securing the then-White Sox ace: Two of the top prospects in baseball in Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech.
The problem is that the Red Sox don't possess those kind of almost-ready-for-the-majors high-end prospects, with some semblance of proven farm system depth behind them, like they did in 2016.
Bloom seems very much intent on prioritizing building up this minor league system before starting to pick from it for these sort of deals.
But, conversely, if you do value a no-doubt-about-it ace, like Dave Dombrowski did, then it's a worthy investment. Eduardo Rodriguez might have one more year in Boston, while both Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi can leave after 2022. Three years of Snell allows to see exactly which of the Red Sox' young arms can be heir apparents (if any).
Maybe the two teams just don't match up right now. Wrong teams, wrong time. But at least we have an idea of where they might be coming from when thinking about such a proposition.
Let the conversations begin.