Things aren't going as hoped for the Red Sox.
Gary Tanguay and Kirk Minihane are on Arbella Early Edition to discuss the Sox players most likely to be traded if the team is out of contention at the deadline.
"They’re going to be sellers, and we’re not accustomed to that, but I think they have to be," says Tanguay.
Entering Friday's games, Baseball Prospectus gave the Red Sox a 19.1% chance of making the playoffs.
"Even if they win 82 [or] 83 games, it’s a wasted season," says Minihane. "Just live with it. This team is not making the playoffs, deal with reality."
Let's say the team doesn't turn things around. Let's say they approach the trade deadline and they're just too far back.The team does have a lot of players that would be appealing to contending clubs. The Sox could further boost their youth movement by trading some veteran talent for a haul of top prospects.
In that scenario, which players would be most likely to get a change of scenery?
Minihane says Jonny Gomes is the first guy who gets the call.
Gomes is in the last year of his deal and doesn't have a lot of money tied to him.
“He can help a contending team," says Minihane. "All that leadership. All [those] tangibles. All that magic dust. I think there’s no question if they get close to the deadline and they’re out of it, they’re moving him.”
But Gomes is a safe choice. He's the type of player that typically gets moved at the deadline. Are there any sexier picks?
How about Jon Lester?
"You’ve got to trade this guy because he’s gone," says Tanguay. "This organization is thinking young and cheap. Lester has got to go. You’ve got to get something for him because after that $70 million insult, he’s gone."
If Lester hits the market, some team will offer him a deal in the $160 million range. It's unlikely the Red Sox are looking (or willing) to pay that kind of money for Lester's services.
If Lester's fair game, how about John Lackey?
Minihane says think carefully about this one. If the Red Sox believe they're only a year away from contending again, they should hold on to Lackey, who will make the major league minimum next year and offers valuable veteran experience.
Those picks are sexy, but let's hear something just plain crazy.
How about Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz?
First, let's be clear. The Sox are about as likely to trade one of these guys as they are to pick up the phone and ask Bobby Valentine to come back.
But Minihane poses this scenario - what if the Miami Marlins come calling and Giancarlo Stanton can be had, but the price is Bogaerts? Do you consider that deal?
And what about Big Papi? He only has a couple years left in the league and teams would certainly be interested in a veteran slugger who can still mash.
That one won't fly, says Minihane. "That’s John Henry’s son.”
"If that happened, the Red Sox beat writers would storm the gates. They’d burn Fenway down.”
To say nothing of the fans' reaction.
There's still plenty of season left to play, but if the team does remain out of content, which players do you think could be on the block?