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The Boston Red Sox reportedly talked with Oakland about catcher Sean Murphy at the trade deadline, and you have to figure they'd still be interested in acquiring the backstop, who has three years of team control left. 

The Sox weren't awful at catcher by the numbers, but the guy that did most of the heavy lifting for their overall stats, Christian Vazquez, was traded to the Houston Astros at the deadline. Vazquez had a 110 wRC+ when he was moved, meaning he was ten percent above league average, and he hit .282 and held a .327 OBP. 

Their current depth chart lists Reese McGuire and Connor Wong as the team's catchers. McGuire has been traded three times already, and Wong is fairly unproven at the big league level in a couple of brief stints. It would make sense for them to still be interested in acquiring Sean Murphy, but he won't come cheap. 

As I've written before, the A's like to follow a certain script for these kinds of deals, and that is one MLB player, one guy in the upper minors on the precipice of the big leagues, and then one more unproven talent that is either injured or in the low minors. 

If the A's wanted to swing big, and the Sox wanted to make a splash, 22-year-old first baseman Triston Casas could be the centerpiece of the deal. How willing Boston is to move him could be another story entirely. 

Casas hit just .197 in his debut, spanning 95 plate appearances, but he had a .358 OBP and struck out 24.2% of the time, which isn't terrible for a first baseman making their debut. He's going to need a little time to get adjusted, and the A's can offer him that space.

Brayan Bello would be another interesting name to consider. The 23-year-old right-hander made his big league debut in 2022, going 2-8 with a 4.71 ERA in 13 games, 11 starts. He's a hard thrower, averaging 97 on his heater, but it's his changeup that generated a whiff rate of 44.2%. 

From where I'm sitting, one of those two players would have to be part of the deal. Bobby Dalbec or Eric Hosmer could play first base if Casas were part of the deal. Bello could be the Sox number three starter behind Chris Sale and Nick Pivetta, so losing him would hurt a bit more. 

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If the A's get to pick between the two, Bello would be the favorite even though Casas is currently FanGraphs' number 35 overall prospect and has an extra year of control. Bello is a power arm, and the A's don't get a chance at too many of those. 

From there, the other big piece of this deal would be Boston's number three prospect and #59 overall, Miguel Bleis. He's 18 years old and hasn't played above Rookie Ball, but he has plus tools across the board and stole 18 bases in 40 games in 2022. He's far from a finished product, but he has a good feel for the strike zone and has plus raw power and plays a smooth center field. 

The final piece would have to be a bit of a wild card in this deal, but the one I'm landing on is David Hamilton, a 25-year-old middle infielder with two years of pro ball under his belt. Hamilton tore his achilles in 2019 before the Draft, then there was no 2020 minor league season, but when he returned to the field in 2021, he stole 52 bases in 101 games between High-A and Double-A. 

Hamilton spent the entire 2022 campaign in Double-A, batting .251 with a .338 OBP and stealing another 70 bases in 119 games. FanGraphs says that the high steal total is due to instinct, not blazing speed, though his speed is "plus." Putting him in green and gold just feels right. 

He's not a huge power threat, though he did hit 12 homers this past season to go along with nine triples. His arm is reportedly fringy at shortstop, so he may need to move to second base. He makes a good amount of contact, striking out 22.4% in 2022, but he has also put up double digit walk rates in each of his three stops in pro ball. 

So would this trade get done? I think the Red Sox could be amenable to doing this deal, but the A's would look at some of the other offers they're receiving and the Sox don't seem to be able to match that within their comfort zone. If Murphy was the last piece they needed to get over the hump, then it would make some sense. But J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts are both free agents, and there are other holes that also need to be addressed. The time for the Red Sox to push their chips in may not be this winter. 

I have also discussed what trades could look like with the Cardinals, Rays, and White Sox if/when the A's trade Sean Murphy.