Welcome back to the 29 trades in 29 days series. Every morning, I will be taking a look at a new MLB team in an effort to find a trade package that makes sense for the Kansas City Royals to hypothetically pursue. For some ground rules and an example, check out the first installment of the series. Today, let's keep moving through the American League East as I examine a possible trade involving the Boston Red Sox.
One would think that it would be easy to pick a player from a team as good as Boston and try to drum up a trade that could work for both sides. The only problem is that the Red Sox have a lot of players reaching free agency this year and the ones that aren’t are entrenched into the core of that team, which makes things tricky.
Fortunately, there might be a straggler the Royals could pick off from the Boston grapevine who has already shown the potential he has on the brightest of stages, and it might not cost the Royals very much to do so.
Boston Red Sox Receive: OF Edward Olivares
Kansas City Royals Receive: SP Nick Pivetta
Some of these trades are going to be less eye-catching than the others but if you dig a little deeper, you may find that this trade makes sense for both sides.
For the Red Sox, they are already familiar when it comes to trading with Kansas City as they gave away Andrew Benintendi to the Royals for outfielder Franchy Cordero. Boston isn't a particularly deep team and its need for a fourth outfielder forced its hand, which is why the club went after Kyle Schwarber at the deadline. Olivares is a lot like Cordero in that he probably doesn’t grade out as an everyday player but could be useful as a fourth outfielder for a strong team.
The Royals have no use for Olivares, as his constant trips from Kansas City back down to Omaha have shown. Also, with the emergence of Kyle Isbel, the re-signing of Michael A. Taylor and the possibility of Adalberto Mondesi and Whit Merrifield getting looks in the outfield, there just isn’t any room for Olivares on this roster.
Pivetta is an interesting case as, for most of his MLB career, he has been lackluster. Through five seasons, his career ERA sits above 5.00. But in Boston, he has shown some signs of improvement and has performed some heroics for the Red Sox in the postseason, striking out seven batters in four scoreless innings of relief against Tampa Bay in the American League Divisional Series.
A similar story for Boston happened a few years ago when Nathan Eovaldi went from a pitcher bouncing around the league to an All-Star caliber pitcher once he got settled in Boston. Could Pivetta become the next Eovaldi? Only time will tell, but the Royals should try to make a move this offseason before his market soars too high.
Boston, a lot like New York, has over half of their rotation coming back with Chris Sale, Tanner Houck, and Eovaldi all returning next year and both Garret Richards and Martin Perez being possibilities if the Red Sox pick up their options. But if they don’t, that could free up room to make moves for pitchers in free agency. That could leave Pivetta on the outside of the rotation looking in.
Had the Red Sox lost to the Yankees in the Wild Card Game, this trade would be a lot easier to pull off. If Boston keeps advancing in the postseason with Pivetta’s help, his asking price might have to start including a few prospects along with Olivares.