Of course, this status can be changed with a single phone call or text, and the last hours and minutes leading up to the deadline usually produce a frenzy of fulfilling communications.
Baseball officer Chaim Bloom arrived in Boston after the 2019 season with a cost to restore the team to sustainable combat and end the boom-or-bust cycle over the past decade. Nevertheless, the club’s march to first place in 2021 probably took place before the plan – at a time when the team has made great strides to improve the farm system, but acknowledges that the work has not been done.
And then the question asks the team: How much of the long-term vision is it willing to compromise? And as a related question, is there a danger that the team will take a huge opportunity in 2021 for granted?
Xander Bogaerts has been through a lot in his nine major league seasons – two championships, four playoff appearances and three recent placements. He saw perennial strife as a given when he was called up to the major leagues on his way to a title in 2013. He no longer does, and hopes Bloom and the Sox front office will approach this season with some urgency.
“I obviously hope we do something,” Bogaerts said. “No one expected us to be here. I’m absolutely sure we surprised ourselves, to be honest. From last year to where we are now, not many people thought we would be in this position. [But] When you are in this position, we must take full advantage of it. If there is any way to upgrade your team, why not?
“I know they will not give up the future,” he continued. “I’m not saying we have to go out and shop for Mike Trout or trade for Mookie Betts back, but of course we are in a really good position. Our team is very good, but anytime you can do better, hopefully we will.
“The playoffs do not come much. We have a very good position – we are in first place right now. The division is very close. . . . Hopefully we do something, it gets the feeling that we want to get better. ”
Several other American League competitors have already strengthened their lists. The Yankees switched to Joey Gallo and left-hander Joely Rodríguez, and then shockingly completed a deal for Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (seen as an obvious Red Sox fit) on Thursday. The Rays added masher Nelson Cruz from the Twins last week.
The Astros have upgraded the bullpen by adding a pair of shutters, Kendall Graveman from Seattle and Yimi García from the Marlins. A’s added outfielder Starling Marte. The White Sox switched to second baseman Cesar Hernandez and relieved Ryan Tepera. The Blue Jays bought Nationals closer to Brad Hand.
Sox players are aware of these moves. They do not expect success, but see potential areas for improvement. First base, a position where the team ranks at or near the bottom of the major averages (.218), OBP (.262), and slugging (.390); the rotation (a 4.43 ERA that ranks 20th); or bullpen, strong to date, but with workload concerns down the stretch.
“I do not think we are panicking yet. We hope not to get a Joey Gallo megadeal. I do not think it is something we expect, to be honest, because our team is quite solid, “said Bogaerts. “But there is obviously room for improvement. If [the front office feels] we can get better, and then pull the trigger on it. ”
The Sox see Chris Sale as a huge taster who could join them for the next two weeks.
“I think the thin left jug will come in a few weeks or a month, it helps. It’s a different feeling to be honest with you, “said manager Alex Cora. “It’s the trade no one else can make, and it’s the ace.”
“I think it’s the biggest contribution to any team in the whole trade deadline,” said Bogaerts.
Cora also mentioned the expected return from other players from the injury list: Marwin Gonzalez (expected to be activated next week), Christian Arroyo, Danny Santana and Ryan Brasier.
“I think it does [the clubhouse dynamics leading up to the trade deadline] much different, Cora said.
Nevertheless, several team leaders – Bogaerts, Matt Barnes and Nate Eovaldi among them – have expressed their hope in recent days that the Sox will seem to do more than just wait for the return of injured players.
The Sox have engaged with Max Scherzer (reportedly close to being sent to either the Padres or the Dodgers), Gallo and almost everyone else. However, some in the industry noted that they had difficulty line up with the Sox, given the team’s efforts to protect the gains at the farm.
The Red Sox are not hiding from their desire to improve not only the outlook for the rest of 2021, but also for the years to come.
“We talked about building this organization. “We will stick to it because we believe it is the ticket to lasting success,” said Red Sox President / CEO Sam Kennedy at NESN. “It is difficult to balance [the present and future]. ”
Nevertheless, a balance suggests some effort to support in the short term, not just a focus on the future to the detriment of the present. Friday afternoon, the Red Sox hope to be able to adjust to take advantage of the opportunity.
“I know we are doing everything we can to improve this list by 2021,” Kennedy told NESN. “I expect something to happen [before the deadline]. ”
Tick, tick, tick. The team has until 16.00 to bring the expectation to life.