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.
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.