Could Red Sox Make Inter-Division Trade For Reunion With Fan Favorite Slugger?

Boston could make a move that fans would absolutely love
Aug 26, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA;  Boston Red Sox first baseman Justin Turner (2) hits an
Aug 26, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Justin Turner (2) hits an / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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The Boston Red Sox have surpassed expectations with an 18-14 record, good for third place in the American League East.

The team currently stands just a 1/2 game out of the AL Wild Card picture and could quite reasonably make up ground when some of their significant pieces return to action off of the injured list.

If the club remains in its current position, it would be reasonable for Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow to consider buying at the trade deadline -- despite all odds. One team that could be looking to sell after a shockingly disappointing start would be the 15-17 Toronto Blue Jays.

"(Blue Jays) free agents after this season include Yusei Kikuchi, Justin Turner, Kevin Kiermaier and Danny Jansen -- mostly complementary parts," The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal wrote Friday. "But their free agents after 2025, hoo boy. Chris Bassitt. (Bo) Bichette and (Vladimir) Guerrero. Jordan Romano and a number of other relievers. A reckoning is nearly at hand."

If Toronto is in position to sell and Boston remains competitive, a trade involving designated hitter Justin Turner could be in play.

Masataka Yoshida is on the injured list and surgery reportedly could be in play. Should he or first baseman Triston Casas remain out for the long haul, Turner would be an ideal fit.

The 39-year-old is hitting .298 with 12 extra-base hits including four home runs, 15 RBIs and a .887 OPS (156 OPS+) in 29 games since departing from Boston.

Turner is on a one-year, $13 million deal that includes $1.5 million in incentives -- making him a relatively easy contract to move should the Blue Jays fall further out of contention. Considering the fact that a 16-year veteran will not be part of the organization's long-term plans, Toronto will be incentivized to capitalize on his strong start by moving him for a prospect or two.

As for the inter-division aspect of the deal, that would not provide much of a barrier in this instance -- as the Blue Jays do not have to worry about dealing their asset to a rival long term. The last time the Red Sox made a deep playoff run, they acquired first baseman Steve Pearce from the Blue Jays to bolster their roster -- which led to the newcomer capturing the 2018 World Series MVP.

In that instance, the Red Sox got a key short-term piece that aided their championship run and the Blue Jays acquired second baseman Santiago Espinal, who made an All-Star game for Toronto in 2022 and was a quality contributor for parts of four seasons for them.

It's unlikely that both seasons continue on their current trajectory -- the Blue Jays are one run away from getting back into the mix while the Red Sox continue to be decimated by injuries -- but if both clubs stay on course, a swap could be made, bringing the one-season wonder back for a second stint.

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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: