With less than 10 days to go before the July 31st deadline, things are starting to heat up on the hot stove. The latest has the Red Sox interested in Ken Giles.
Yesterday we heard rumours that the Red Sox were interested in one of the Blue Jays relievers, which shouldn’t come as a surprise for the defending World Series champs who are badly in need of bullpen upgrades.
The name being linked to them earlier on Sunday was Daniel Hudson, who has had a nice season in Toronto and would help bolster the back of Alex Cora‘s bullpen in Boston. However, it sounds like Hudson isn’t the only Blue Jay reliever they’re interested in, and they might even have their sights set a little higher.
According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Red Sox are showing “active interest” in both Ken Giles and Kirby Yates of the San Diego Padres, who is also believed to be available. Again, the bullpen need is pretty obvious, and has been there since the Sox lost both Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly over the offseason.
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Whether or not there’s a fit between the division rivals remains to be seen, but there’s an argument that the timeline would actually make quite a bit of sense, especially if the Jays were willing to deal with the Yankees last year by sending J.A. Happ to New York in exchange for Billy McKinney and Brandon Drury. I say that because I think the Yankees are set up for the short and long term with their roster, but I don’t know if that’s the case in Boston.
While the Red Sox may be the defending champions and are poised to make a run at the playoffs again this year, the roster is viewed by many as flawed, even with the emergence of guys like Rafael Devers. I’ve even noticed some Red Sox fans and bloggers suggest that perhaps they should consider their own rebuild, especially with Mookie Betts due to be a free agent after the 2020 season, and J.D. Martinez hitting the market after this year, assuming he declines his contract optoins.
They might be three games back of the 2nd Wild Card spot and 11 games back of the Yankees (also 9.0 games behind the Rays), but do any of us really expect Dave Dombrowski to throw in the towel while defending a title? Trying to extend their competitive window another year or two could hurt them in the long term, which might line up nicely with the young core that’s developing in Toronto. The real question to ask might be whether the Blue Jays think they’ll contend again before Giles is a free agent at the end of next season, which they have very slim hopes of doing. In that case, trading a win-now asset like Giles to the Red Sox should be okay, provided they make the highest bid. It’s even better if you can take some real assets from Boston’s MiLB pipeline.
We’ll see if the Red Sox are willing to dig that deeply into their already thin farm system in order to help their struggling bullpen. There is no doubt that Giles would be a big upgrade, even if Nate Eovaldi can stay healthy and succeed as a closer candidate in Boston. However, there should be plenty of other interested parties, and ones with prospect capital that probably makes more sense.