Red Sox Talking to Padres on Ross, Kimbrel

In a surprising development, rumors are circulating that the Red Sox are engaged in trade talks with the San Diego Padres, who have many interesting players on the block.

The reports initially emanated from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, who was informed by a source that Boston is seeking cost-controlled starting pitchers, and that Tyson Ross of San Diego could be a prime target in the waning deadline hours.Red Sox

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports later confirmed that report, and added that the Red Sox clearly have the prospects to expand a prospective deal to possibly include Craig Kimbrel, the Padres’ elite closer.

The Yankees have been heavily involved in negotiations for Kimbrel, who they would like to compliment Delin Betances and Andrew Miller in the creation of a super bullpen. New York executives worked through the night trying to hammer out a deal, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.

However, Jon Heyman, the chief baseball insider at CBS, has also confirmed the Red Sox’ apparent interest in Kimbrel, who is widely considered one of the two best closers in the game.

At this point, it would appear to make little sense for the Red Sox to add Kimbrel, because there are few things more redundant in baseball than a premier closer on a 45-58 team. However, he is under contract through 2017, with an option for a further year, so Boston may be looking to add him as a cornerstone of a swift reboot. Alternatively, the Red Sox or Padres may have leaked word of Boston’s interest merely to boost the asking price and force the Yankees into a difficult position.

With barely six hours remaining until the deadline passes, we’ll know soon enough what Ben Cherington has in mind. Perhaps he’ll begin rebuilding in dramatic fashion, or perhaps he’ll stir the pot just enough to make his division rivals weaker in the medium-term future.

Grading the Trade of Stephen Drew to the Yankees

Stephen DrewThe final trade for the Boston Red Sox before the deadline sent veteran shortstop Stephen Drew to the New York Yankees in exchange for struggling infielder Kelly Johnson. It was the first time these rivals traded since 1997.

In the deal, the Yankees will pay the rest of the pro-rated contract Drew signed back in late May while the Red Sox get to move Xander Bogaerts back to short.

Drew has been struggling offensively all season, after missing spring training, with a .176 average and just four home runs in 39 games with the Red Sox. The 31-year-old did bolster the middle infield defense, but did not provide any depth to the Red Sox lineup and stunted the growth of Bogaerts at shortstop.

Johnson has been sidelined since July 23 with a strained left groin and should be set to be activated on Thursday after a couple rehab contests on Tuesday and Wednesday. The struggling infielder posted just a .219/.304/.373 slash line in  227 plate appearances with just six homers and 22 RBI for the Yankees while playing the super utility role.

It’s hard to see how Johnson fits into this team with Brock Holt already serving as a super utility guy, but another power bat could be good for this team off the bench.

Overall, this deal gave the Red Sox the chance to press the restart button at shortstop, and give their most talented prospect a chance to regroup and show he can play his natural position. Plus, the Yankees have to eat the money the Red Sox had to pay Drew to get him to sign.

Grade: B+