After ending in final place within the AL East for the third time in 4 seasons, the Pink Sox needs to be primed for an aggressive offseason this winter.
With Boston set to spend in free company, the Sox might be viable candidates for gifted pitchers like Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Blake Snell, Aaron Nola, Lucas Giolito, and Jordan Montgomery.
The MLB sizzling range has but to catch hearth with the postseason nonetheless ongoing, however a number of stories proceed to hyperlink Boston to two-way celebrity Shohei Ohtani forward of what might be a record-setting contract for the Angels DH/pitcher.
However with a restocked farm system now in place, may the Pink Sox even be within the place to swing a blockbuster commerce or two this winter so as to considerably improve their roster?
Former MLB GM Jim Bowden mapped out such a state of affairs in his newest piece with The Athletic on Tuesday, itemizing the Pink Sox as one in all 5 groups to observe for if the Padres decide to take heed to gives for star outfielder Juan Soto.
Soto, who turns 25 years previous subsequent week, has established himself as one of the vital feared hitters in baseball.
A 3-time All-Star, 2019 World Sequence champion and 2020 batting champion, Soto slashed .275/.410/.519 (158 OPS+) with 35 residence runs, 109 RBIs and 12 stolen bases final season in San Diego, main MLB in walks whereas additionally taking part in all 162 video games.
However with the Padres in a state of limbo following a massively disappointing 82-80 document in 2023 — coupled with the anticipated mega-deal Soto is predicted to command as a free agent following the 2024 season — the case might be made that San Diego ought to promote excessive on Soto quite than see him stroll subsequent 12 months.
Although dealing Soto with only one 12 months remaining of workforce management may damage his general commerce worth, Bowden believes that Boston must embody no less than two MLBers and two prospects to facilitate the deal.
“A possible Pink Sox package deal may begin with Alex Verdugo, who would instantly turn into the Padres’ beginning left fielder,” Bowden famous. “Add in beginning pitcher Tanner Houck (who would go proper into the Padres’ rotation) and a few good prospects equivalent to outfielder Miguel Bleis and right-hander Luis Perales.
“Are you able to think about Verdugo being a centerpiece in each the Mookie Betts commerce and a possible Soto commerce? I can’t both, however with Soto having just one 12 months of management remaining, it clearly reduces the return considerably.”
Provided that Verdugo may already be on the transfer this offseason after one other up-and-down season in Boston, the Pink Sox could not have qualms with shifting him — particularly if it nets a star like Soto who can change him within the outfield.
Bleis and Perales are each listed as top-10 prospects in Boston’s farm system (per MLB.com), with the 19-year-old Bleis garnering loads of reward going into the 2023 season as a possible five-tool outfielder with loads of room to develop. Bleis’ improvement was stunted again in June when he underwent season-ending shoulder surgical procedure whereas taking part in for the Single-A Salem Pink Sox.
Even when Boston did transfer each Bleis and Perales, the Pink Sox nonetheless have loads of blue-chip prospects nonetheless in place on their farm system in Marcelo Mayer, Roman Anthony, Ceddanne Rafaela, and Kyle Teel.
That being mentioned, such a surplus of younger expertise may additionally immediate the Padres to ask for much more if a bidding conflict have been to interrupt out this offseason for Soto’s companies.
Together with the Pink Sox, Bowden listed the Yankees, Mariners, Giants, and Guardians as the opposite MLB franchises with the willingness (and belongings readily available) to try to pry Soto out of San Diego.
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