Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has made five trades since February, acquiring several talented prospects, including Jeter Downs, Jeisson Rosario, Hudson Potts, Connor Seabold, Connor Wong and Jacob Wallace.
The minor system is in better shape right now than when Bloom accepted his position last October. But Bloom still has a lot more work to do.
Might Bloom trade any major leaguer players this offseason to continue to add prospects?
Martin Perez is a trade candidate (if the Sox exercise his option)
The Red Sox must decide whether to exercise Martin Perez’s $6.25 million team option for 2021.
“It’s obviously one of the first decisions we need to make,” Bloom said last week. “That decision and basically all option decisions are made within five days (after) the World Series. So you can expect us to resolve that around then. … We were very happy with what he did this year. He’s very consistent and a great teammate. Lot of positives there.”
The Red Sox have three options: 1). Buy him out for $500,000; 2). Pick up his option and keep him; 3). Exercise his option, trade him this winter and replace him with a free agent.
Multiple intriguing mid-rotation starters, including Garrett Richards, Jake Odorizzi, Kevin Gausman, Mike Minor, Taijuan Walker and Robbie Ray, will be available in free agency.
Corey Kluber also might be an interesting free agent target if the Rangers decline his option.
Texas has a $18 million team option and $1 million buyout for Kluber who pitched only one inning in 2020 because of a shoulder injury. Kluber has started just eight games in 2019-20 combined.
The Red Sox’s starting pitching situation might not be as bleak as it seems, but the front office still needs to add at least one or two starters this offseason.
Both ace Chris Sale (Tommy John surgery) and No. 2 starter Eduardo Rodriguez (myocarditis, resulting from COVID-19) missed the entire 2020 season. Rodriguez is expected to be ready for spring training. Sale has begun throwing again and is expected to pitch at some point during 2021.
Meanwhile, Tanner Houck and Nick Pivetta both showed they can help in 2021. They combined to go 5-0 in their combined five starts in September. They earned five of the 13 wins by Red Sox starters in 2020.
Might Red Sox revisit Christian Vazquez talks?
Christian Vazquez, who is signed through 2021 with a team option for 2022, was the subject of several rumors at this year’s trade deadline. But Boston’s asking price reportedly was extremely high.
The Red Sox could revisit talks this offseason. Sometimes groundwork is laid during the trade deadline for a deal to happen in the offseason.
Trading him makes sense only if another team is willing to overspend (in terms of prospects).
Catcher J.T. Realmuto will be one of the top free agents on this offseason’s market, but he’d cost Boston more than money. The Phillies are expected to offer him a qualifying offer. And so the Red Sox would forfeit their second-highest 2021 draft pick and $500,000 in international signing bonus pool space if they inked Realmuto.
It makes more sense to keep Vazquez who batted .278 with a .327 on-base percentage, .472 slugging percentage, .798 OPS, 30 homers, 35 doubles, one triple and 95 RBIs in 185 games (710 plate appearances) in 2019-20 combined. He’ll earn $6.25 million in 2021. He then has a $7 million team option for 2022.
Realmuto’s combined slugging percentage the past two years was just 20 points higher than Vazuez’s. His OBP was only six points higher.
Is there a position for Michael Chavis in 2021?
Bobby Dalbec is the frontrunner to start at first base for the 2021 Red Sox. Christian Arroyo appears to have the early edge at second base. Boston always could look to upgrade at second base via trade or free agency this offseason.
Where does that leave Michael Chavis who has spent most of his first two big league seasons at first and second base? He also played some left field at the end of 2020.
He’s possibly a trade candidate, although his value isn’t very high right now.
Chavis posted a .903 OPS with 10 homers in his first 34 big league games (149 plate appearances). But he then posted a .682 OPS and eight homers over the final 61 games (233 plate appearances) of his rookie year in 2019.
He posted a .212/.259/.377/.636 line with five home runs in 158 plate appearances this year. He finished in the bottom nine percent of the league in strikeout percentage (31.6%).
He needs to slug more if his strikeout percentage remains that high.
“Honestly, I feel I’m a significantly better baseball player this year than I was last year,” Chavis said near the end of the regular season. “I know the numbers don’t show the same. And I’m sure a million people are going to tweet me saying I’m fricking wrong. I also deleted my social media so enjoy it. Just because everything was so negative. Not just baseball. It felt like everywhere that I looked, whether it was Twitter, some news, the TV. Everywhere. It just felt like I was overwhelmed with negativity. And I kind of carried that into the game. And that’s what influenced my cloudiness mentally.”
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