Third Base for the Red Sox has been a void for the last few months, and these names could help them fill it.
As we normally do, every Trade Deadline year after year the Red Sox always throw their hat in the race for the biggest name on the market. This season, Jose Quintana has been the biggest name that was moved and to no surprise the Red Sox checked in on him at some point in the season. With names like Sonny Gray, Todd Frazier, and David Robertson all potentially on the move, I assess the realistic opportunities for the Red Sox to cash in and find their missing puzzle piece at third base. These are some players that you may not of heard of that are likely on the radar for the Red Sox this season:
It shouldn’t be a surprise, but the former Red Sox infielder may find his way back into Boston. With Oakland exploding their team quicker than anyone in the bay area can fathom, most of the Athletics players become a target for trade opportunities (as we saw with Doolittle and Madson). In Boston, Jed Lowrie makes sense.
Lowrie is probably the most obtainable of this list. The switch hitter is hitting a respectable .272 with 10 homers and 33 RBI in 83 games. He’s on pace to have one of his better seasons since 2014, but this is only due to injuries. Lowrie is notoriously injury prone, and his low cost can provide a valuable third/short/second option without moving an important player. He was a platoon player while in Boston before ultimately losing his job completely to Jose Iglesias, then Bogaerts, then Will Middlebrooks so platooning is nothing new to him. With Oakland owing him $6 million next year, you would expect the Red Sox to take part of the contract and give up a fringe prospect for him and to Dave Dombroski, this is pocket change. Prepare for the return of Jed Lowrie in Boston.
While this is more of a stretch than a reality, I still want to talk about it in case it happens (making me look smart). Harrison has been a sort of Brock Holt style player for the Pirates since breaking into the league in 2011. A career .282 hitter, he doesn’t wow you with flashy power and high RBI totals. Instead he provides a reliable bat that in the lower half of the lineup.
Despite being a very reliable part of the Pirates lineup, and a potentially good fit for Boston, he is under contract through 2020. If the Red Sox plan on moving Devers like they did with Moncada, they better haul in a bigger return than 30 year old Josh Harrison. But if Dombrowksi pulls the trigger and decides to go with Harrison expect him to move to a different position if he sticks around. He might even end up at pitcher. Who knows.
The former Yankee (and All Star, believe it or not!) is yet another player that provides flexibility when it comes to filling holes, but once again – all we are focusing on is third base. Red Sox Nation may be hesitant to see another former Giant taking reigns over third base but I promise you that Nunez is nothing like that dude that the Sox just DFA’d. In 67 games this year Nunez is just a tick under .300, batting .297 with 4 homers and 25 RBI. He’s also got 17 steals, so the tangible of stealing bases makes him more of an attractive pick up.
Nunez is also signed through this season – potentially making him an even better suit for Boston with prospects waiting. His numbers aren’t flashy, but they’re maybe the most respectable of this list considering he has spent some time on the disabled list. With the Giants in free fall, and more than likely selling the house in two weeks, I would put my money on Eduardo Nunez as one of the first to go.
With the deadline two weeks away, I think these three guys could end up in Fenway Park playing third base really soon. While the main point of focus is finding another reliable arm in the bullpen, it is necessary to find a major league ready third baseman who can provide a tangible that Marrero and Lin can’t at this early in their careers – and that is to hit with consistency. Check back in on July 31st and see the madness unfold.