Red Sox's Craig Breslow Reportedly Has Sights Set On Two Positions At Trade Deadline

Boston could end up going for it after all
Feb 15, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow talks with media at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 15, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow talks with media at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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The Boston Red Sox are in the same precarious position they have faced the last two Major League Baseball trade deadlines: right down the middle with a .500 record.

Most organizations have the dreaded buy or sell decision made for them, as it's largely dictated by their records. The Red Sox, however, continue to find themselves right in the middle of the pack and will have to decide whether to bolster up their current roster or punt and attempt to find some pieces that could get them over the hump for 2025.

Given his consistent messaging about not sacrificing future wins for current wins since taking over baseball operations, you'd think Breslow would look at a 31-31 team and decide to sell off all impending free agents.

However, he's reportedly at least making a buyers game plan with two key areas of need.

"Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow is searching for more starting pitching and a short-term solution for shortstop," The Athletic's Jim Bowden reported Tuesday.

The Red Sox's starting pitching has been stellar this season with a cumulative 3.32 ERA - the fourth-best in MLB. However, the rotation without Garrett Whitlock has some flaws on the backend with Cooper Criswell starting to fizzle and the depth behind him is abysmal.

As for the shortstop situation -- that is a mess. Trevor Story has been missing since the opening road trip and will not return. Other injuries have caused versatile Ceddanne Rafaela to swap between center field and shortstop -- leaving a rotating cast up the middle.

David Hamilton has handled the shortstop duties well in recent weeks but is not expected to maintain his .282/.339/.436 slash line that has led to his .774 OPS (116 OPS+) in 41 games this season. He has earned playing time but the Red Sox would be wise to find some other options if they were to push their chips in.

With all of that said, I do not expect Boston to buy when the time comes. Between Tyler O'Neill, Nick Pivetta, Kenley Jansen and Chris Martin, the Red Sox will have some highly-coveted pieces to sell. For Breslow to pass on all of the prospect capital that he could acquire, they'd need to play better than .500.

At this point in the season with all of the injuries that have occurred, it's hard to see Boston winning enough games down the stretch to convince him to buy. If that's the case, we'll get to see if Breslow can pull off a similar trade to his predecessor in 2022 -- who was able to flip two months of Christian Vázquez for American League Rookie of the Year candidate Wilyer Abreu and second baseman Enmanuel Valdez.

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Scott Neville

SCOTT NEVILLE

Scott Neville covers the Boston Red Sox for Sports Illustrated's new page "Inside The Red Sox." Before starting "Inside The Red Sox", Neville attended Merrimack College, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Media with a minor in Marketing. Neville spent all four years with Merrimack's radio station WMCK, where he grew as a radio/podcast host and producer.  His propensity for being in front of a microphone eventually expanded to film, where he produced multiple short films alongside his then-roommate and current co-worker Stephen Mottram. On a journey that began as a way to receive easy credits via film classes, he received a call from "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" star Charlie Day. Day advised him to make a feature-length film, which he completed his senior year. While writing the film, Neville completed an internship for United Way as part of their NFL Partnership Program. Neville ran the blog for a team of interns and hosted an internet show called "United Way's NFL Partnership Series" where he interviewed NFL alumni. After college Neville wrote for SB Nation's "Over The Monster," a Red Sox sister site of the flagship brand. His work would eventually lead him to a job as a content producer with NESN, where he would cover all sports. After developing as a writer with the top regional network in the world, he was given the opportunity to join the Sports Illustrated Media Group in his current endeavor as the publisher of "Inside The Red Sox." The successful launch and quick rise of "Inside The Red Sox" led to Neville joining the Baseball Essential ownership group, a national baseball site under SIMG. Follow him on Twitter: @ScottNeville46 Email: nevilles@merrimack.edu