Merloni: Trade Koji if Sox are out of contention

Merloni: Trade Koji if Sox are out of contention
June 14, 2014, 7:30 am
Share This Post
"Let’s just assume that [the Red Sox are] 10 games out. Yes, he should be on the block." - Lou Merloni

It's a sobering chore, debating what amounts to your strategy of surrender. 

If the Red Sox continue to tread water, or worse, lose ground, could they become sellers at the deadline? And if they become sellers, would they - should they - trade Koji Uehara?

Lou Merloni joins Kirk Minihane and Gary Tanguay on Arbella Early Edition to explain why the Red Sox should trade Koji if they're out of contention.

"Let’s just assume that they’re 10 games out," says Merloni. "Yes, he should be on the block. If they’re out of this thing, he’s the one guy you have to get max return.

"He’s the one that I would have to get a lot for and I think you could."

There are a number of reasons for the Red Sox to consider trading their star closer.

Uehara will be 40 next April. He'll be a free agent after this season. But most of all, contending teams would pay a premium to acquire a lock-down closer for the playoff push.

"Last year he had the best season any Red Sox reliever has ever had," says Minihane. "And maybe this year he’s been better. 

"He is a legitimate game-changer. He can carry you through a postseason. We need something serious in return. They could probably get it."

All of this, of course, is only if the team falls out of contention. The Red Sox could always offer Uehara a qualifying offer and pay him about $15 million next year. It's an overpay for one year, but the Red Sox have shown themselves willing - if not eager - to dole out slightly more money in exchange for shorter contracts. 

“If you’re not out of it, and you’re still in this thing," says Merloni, "I think you give him that qualifying offer and I don’t have one problem giving him that $15 million.”

What would you do with Koji?