The Future Ahead: A Brief Look at The Boston Red Sox

Coming off of a 2018 season that saw the Red Sox win the World Series, fans and players alike expect the team to make another run at defending their title in 2019. In this post however, we are going to take a look at not only 2019, but what the team will look like in the years ahead after next season. It could look quite a lot different.

The 2019 season will see most of Boston’s roster returning except for a few players, most notably closer Craig Kimbrel(well, potentially). It’s still not out of the picture that the Red Sox could bring back their star closer as Kimbrel’s market still isn’t all that great and his contract demands are still too rich for teams to consider adding him. If his market continues to fall, it’s still possible the Red Sox could sign him for a discounted price.

Nonetheless, the focus will be on going for a repeat performance this year in Boston as the team begins to gear up to defend their World Series title(as mentioned above). After the 2019 season things could completely change for the Red Sox, as the team could potentially say goodbye to players like Chris Sale, J.D. Martinez(if he opts out), Rick Porcello, and Xander Bogaerts, among others. And with the team payroll still very high despite those players’ contracts off the books after 2019, it could become very difficult for the Boston front office to bring back the bunch.

The year after doesn’t get much better either. Mookie Betts, the team’s top player, will become a free agent the following year and could leave as well. The Boston farm system at the moment doesn’t look too good as the team has shipped out most of the farm in recent years to get top talent through trades.

We clearly wouldn’t expect the team to trade anyone to add to the farm system due to the fact that the team is a World Series contender for at least the next couple of seasons. But what happens by the time Mookie Betts becomes a free agent?

The team could very well strike an extension with their star outfielder by then, but as free agency gets closer and closer in the next couple of years, Betts may want to see what he could get from other teams as he would surely command a mega type of contract by that point. It would take a ton for the Red Sox to retain the MVP, especially before he ends up a free agent. This is definitely something Red Sox fans don’t want to think about right now.

In looking at the farm system, third baseman Michael Chavis is the teams top prospect and is a well regarded top 100 prospect in multiple outlets. He is somewhat blocked by Rafael Devers right now, but a position change for one of the two could be in order once Chavis is ready to make the big leagues, whether that be next year or the year after.

There’s also Jay Groome, the teams No. 2 prospect per MLB.com. Tommy John surgery has wiped out a year of development for the left-hander, but once he gets back to pitching again, he’ll continue his journey to one day making it to the big leagues as potentially a front-line starter if things break right for the 2016 No. 12 overall pick. Behind him is 2018 first round pick Triston Casas, he is years away from big league readiness. Beyond those two, while there are a few interesting arms, there’s not much in the way of prospects who could help the team anytime soon or at all.

It will be interesting to see how the future in Boston goes in the years ahead, but for right now, Red Sox fans should enjoy the team that won them a World Series title and could potentially win another in 2019.

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One Current or Future Trade Candidate For Each Team in The National League

Every team, whether rebuilding or contending, always has either a surplus of players at one position or a complete hole at others and will want to make a transaction to address those areas. Whether you’re team is looking to cash in on any players they can to get prospects for the future or are looking for the final pieces to the puzzle for a World Series title, every team has at least one player that can be considered a trade candidate or an eventual trade candidate in the near future. Here we will pick one player from each team that could make sense as a current, or near future, trade candidate.

-RHP Julio Teheran(Atlanta Braves)

Teheran has been rumored in trades for the last few years now, however he has not been talked about much in the past year as the Braves have become contenders in the National League. Despite that, Atlanta would still like to deal the 27-year old due to his inconsistencies and the fact that the Braves have plenty of pitching depth as it is with more and more young prospects surfacing to the majors.

-C J.T. Realmuto(Miami Marlins)

This one was a no brainer. As of this writing Realmuto has not been dealt and that may not change anytime soon. Several suitors have had plenty of talks throughout the offseason with the Marlins but with Miami’s significantly high asking price, teams will be patient to wait for the Marlins to lower their demands. The Marlins long rebuild and Realmuto’s two remaining years of control should make the pressure on Miami in dealing him now high.

-LHP Noah Syndergaard(New York Mets)

The Mets will not deal Syndergaard this offseason. GM Brodie Van Waganen has made that clear as the Mets clearly have intentions on contending next season. But if New York falls out of the playoff race again then trade rumors around Thor could surface once again. The Padres were among teams that showed interest earlier in the offseason.

-3B Maikel Franco(Philadelphia Phillies)

Franco has been the subject of trade rumors around Philly for the last 2 years now, and the team would especially look to deal him if they are to land Manny Machado. Franco bounced back after a miserable 2017 season, but that hasn’t changed much regarding the 3rd baseman potentially getting traded at some point.

-OF Michael A. Taylor(Washington Nationals)

Taylor doesn’t really have much playing time ahead of him if the Nationals are going to give the starting nod to Victor Robles in 2019, and if the Nats are to re-sign Bryce Harper, Taylor wouldn’t seem to have a place at all to get at-bats. He’s struggled to hit and could use a change of scenery.

-SS Addison Russell(Chicago Cubs)

Russell is simply the most logical candidate to be traded by the Cubs due to his off-field issues. He was tendered a contract despite his suspension for domestic violence, and the Cubs will definitely want to see if there’s any value left in a player who carries those kind of issues with him.

-2B Scooter Gennett(Cincinnati Reds)

Gennett is a free agent after the 2019 season and the Reds have shopped him in the past. However, due to the fact that Cincinnati is intent on competing in the upcoming season, don’t expect Gennett to be moved. If the Reds fall out of the race though, he could be a hot commodity in the trade market.

-1B Eric Thames(Milwaukee Brewers)

With Jesus Aguilar’s bat emerging over the 2018 season, he has the inside track on the starting 1st base job for the 2019 season and with a full starting outfield for the Brewers, Thames is an expendable piece and will be shopped around by the brew crew. It isn’t a sure thing he gets traded however.

-C Francisco Cervelli(Pittsburgh Pirates)

Cervelli has been mentioned a lot in the offseason as one of the top catching options on the trade market and teams that find the Marlins asking price for J.T. Realmuto too high along with Yasmani Grandal’s high asking price in free agency, could definitely jump at trying to trade for Cervelli.

-1B Jose Martinez(St. Louis Cardinals)

The Cardinals have been shopping Martinez since they acquired Paul Goldschmidt from the D-Backs in the beginning of the offseason, but his horrid defense makes him a better option as a designated hitter in the American League. He looks like a high quality bench bat if St. Louis can’t deal him.

-RHP Zack Greinke(Arizona Diamondbacks)

The D-Backs would still love to find a taker for the majority of Greinke’s massive contract, but with his still above average pitching, Arizona isn’t just going to dump Greinke unless they get prospects along with paying down at least some of the right-handers contract.

-1B Ian Desmond(Colorado Rockies)

Unless the Rockies were to bizarrely change course and try to trade Nolan Arenado, then Desmond seems like the most logical trade candidate. It would be hard for Colorado to trade Desmond due to his sub par numbers and big contract, but they’d surely love to find a taker to get him off the books.

-OF Alex Verdugo(Los Angeles Dodgers)

Although he hasn’t had much time in the big leagues yet, Verdugo has been apart of just about every rumored trade package for players Los Angeles has been talking about acquiring. That doesn’t mean he does get traded though because after sending Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to the Reds, the Dodgers may be smarter in keeping Verdugo apart of the mix.

-OF Wil Myers(San Diego Padres)

The Padres have a big surplus in their outfield and while Myers probably won’t be the one who gets traded out of the bunch, he has been apart of trade rumors in San Diego in the offseason. He’s owed a lot of money going forward and is coming off of a less-than stellar season, so San Diego would have a hard time trading Myers right now. Going forward though, with Eric Hosmer entrenched at 1st base and due to the aforementioned outfield logjam, Myers could very well pop back up in rumors if he can’t bounce back in the 2019 season.

-LHP Madison Bumgarner(San Francisco Giants)

He hasn’t been traded this offseason and that will most likely remain the same heading into spring training, but if the Giants aren’t contending for a playoff spot come July, trading Bumgarner would be a smart move, as he is a free agent following the 2019 season and San Francisco could benefit from adding talent to an underwhelming farm system that needs it.

One Current or Future Trade Candidate For Each Team in The American League

Every team, whether rebuilding or contending, always has either a surplus of players at one position or a complete hole at others and will want to make a transaction to address those areas. Whether you’re team is looking to cash in on any players they can to get prospects for the future or are looking for the final pieces to the puzzle for a World Series title, every team has at least one player that can be considered a trade candidate or an eventual trade candidate in the near future. Here we will pick one player from each team that could make sense as a current, or near future, trade candidate.

-OF Mitch Haniger(Seattle Mariners)

The Mariners have been perhaps the most active team this offseason due to their tear down of the teams’ roster, and while GM Jerry Dipoto has made it clear he would have to be “blown away” to deal their star outfielder, Seattle would get a huge return for him which could further help out in their small rebuild. Of course, simply keeping him would help too.

-OF Mike Trout(Los Angeles Angels)

Many fans have wondered what the Angels would get in a trade(or who could make that deal happen) for the future hall of famer, and it would make sense due to the uncertain future with the Angels. They have the playoffs in mind in 2019, but if the team falls short once again, it would be interesting if they at least think about the thought of trading Trout in the 2019-20 offseason, especially if the Angels aren’t convinced he would sign an extension to remain in Anaheim for the rest of his career.

-IF Franklin Barreto(Oakland Athletics)

The A’s are relatively set except for a couple of positions next season(catcher and starting pitching) and with a full infield set for 2019, playing time will once again be hard to come by for former top prospect Barreto. Perhaps trading Barreto for an established major leaguer at another position of need, could help out. Of course, Barreto is just 22, so the A’s could take their time with him if they feel he still isn’t ready for consistent major league at-bats.

-OF Kyle Tucker(Houston Astros)

Tucker is the Astros’ top prospect, and one of the top 10 prospects in the game, and he’s mentioned here for one reason, he could very well headline a trade package for an elite major leaguer at a position of need. He’s been mentioned as a possible centerpiece in a trade for Marlins’ catcher J.T. Realmuto, but with Miami still wanting more top talent, it’s unlikely at this time that Tucker would be included in any deal.

-RHP Mike Minor(Texas Rangers)

Minor is the current top Rangers player who is most likely to be dealt and while there’s multiple other players who could eventually be dealt(Jose Leclerc, Shin-Soo Choo), we’ll use Minor in this post. Many teams have been linked to Minor both in a starting and relief role, and the Rangers have made it clear they want meaningful prospects in return for their current top starter.

-OF Nicholas Castellanos(Detroit Tigers)

He’s currently the top trade candidate for the Tigers and they’ve been shopping him hard this offseason as he enters his final year of team control, with the Dodgers being most heavily linked to the Tigers’ outfielder, but with the asking price too high for teams right now, don’t expect a Castellanos deal soon.

-RHP Corey Kluber(Cleveland Indians)

Both Kluber and fellow starter Trevor Bauer have been all over the rumor mill this offseason but the Indians have not connected on a deal with anyone. It’s not known if Cleveland will deal either ace now, but several teams remain in talks with the Indians about Kluber.

-1B Jose Abreu(Chicago White Sox)

Abreu has been mentioned in the past as a trade candidate and teams have tried to trade for the White Sox slugger in the past. While Abreu makes sense as a trade candidate, it’s unlikely at this point that Chicago trades him.

-LHP Danny Duffy(Kansas City Royals)

While Whit Merrifield is the popular player amongst Kansas City players when it comes to teams showing trade interest, the Royals still aren’t interested in dealing their star 2nd baseman, which makes Duffy the more likely candidate if they can find a suitor for his services. Duffy will need a rebound in 2019 however, if KC wants to have a chance at dealing the left-hander for any meaningful return.

-3B Miguel Sano(Minnesota Twins)

This is a bit of an interesting one despite the inconsistencies Sano has had thus far in his career. If Sano can’t rebound in 2019, he could very well fall out of favor in Minnesota, who could look to trade him if he can’t get back to the player he was when he first came to the majors. He’s still just 25 though, so it remains to be seen just how much of a leash he still has left on the Minnesota roster.

-3B Miguel Andujar(New York Yankees)

The young 3rd baseman finished runner up in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2018 but despite that, Andujar has been one of the most popular trade candidates this offseason due to the fact that if New York is to land Manny Machado, Andujar would be supplanted at the hot corner, leaving him with no specific position. Teams have shown a lot of interest in Andujar, but it remains to be seen if the Yankees trade him.

-IF/C Blake Swihart(Boston Red Sox)

Since coming to the majors, the former top prospect has had no real position on the team and continues to be blocked at all positions around the diamond. Swihart has been used all over the field thus far to get more playing time, but he has yet to do much with the bat and eventually Boston could consider a change of scenery type of trade for the 26-year old.

-RHP Dylan Bundy(Baltimore Orioles)

Mychal Givens is the most popular Orioles player when it comes to teams showing interest, but if Bundy can rebound next season, teams could very well have renewed interest in the right hander, in part because he’s had success in recent seasons.

-OF Kevin Kiermaier(Tampa Bay Rays)

If there’s one player that the Rays would consider listening to offers on in the near future, it would probably be Kiermaier. His outstanding defense would be of interest to plenty of teams but it would take not only the Rays falling out of the playoff picture, but Kiermaier’s bat to come back to life in 2019 for Tampa to consider listening to offers on him.

-RHP Marcus Stroman(Toronto Blue Jays)

Teams have shown more interest in Stroman more than anyone on the Blue Jays, but Toronto wants a big return still for the right-hander. However, due to his underwhelming, injury riddled 2018, Toronto would somewhat be selling low on Stroman. The Padres have shown the most interest.