But if that means dealing prospects at the trade deadline for a one-year rental, Tony La Russa is skeptical.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said earlier this week the team aims to add a starter “sooner than later.” Two names that have come up as possible trade targets are Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler and Tigers lefty Matthew Boyd. However, both of their contracts are up at the end of the year, and it’d undoubtedly take a solid package of prospects to acquire either arm.
La Russa, a special assistant to Dombrowski, explained Thursday on WEEI’s “Dale & Keefe” why he’d be reluctant to acquire Wheeler, Boyd or any other rental.
“You’re asking my opinion, I’ll give it to you: I’ve been down for two years now in spring training, observing [prospects], we’re definitely stocking the minor leagues again with legitimate prospects, and we do have a process if you want to make a deal,” La Russa said. “But I know that there’s a very strong sentiment that this is a good time to rebuild and refresh our minor leagues so we can keep making deals in the future, and if you want to try and make a one-shot deal for a guy that’s a free agent or something and give up some prospects, that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense for our club.”
The Red Sox begin the second half of the season nine games out in the American League East and two games out in the Wild Card race, so a deadline deal — even for a rental — might be necessary to clinch a playoff berth. It’ll be intriguing to see whether Dombrowski will ignore La Russa’s advice, or if he’ll take the uncharacteristic deadline approach of keeping the farm system intact.
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