Red Sox

20 Under 25 Rankings: #7 - Malcom Brown

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20 Under 25 Rankings: #7 - Malcom Brown

TURNS 25: FEBRUARY 2, 2019
FINAL RATING: 6.8

There’s upside galore for the Patriots' big defensive tackle. Malcom Brown doesn’t even turn 23 until February, so the team’s first-round pick in 2015 (32nd overall) has loads of time to grow into his NFL role. And he ought to, which is why this is a good spot for him on this list.

Brown hasn’t had a tremendously consistent 2016 -- he was supplanted in the defensive-line rotation in Week 16 by rookie Vincent Valentine -- but that figures to be temporary. There are too many occasions this year and last where you see Brown manhandle the guy across from him and make a play of consequence. The 6-2, 320-pounder has 46 tackles and three sacks this year. Just take a look at this tone-setter against the Ravens that put the Patriots up 2-0 in the first quarter.

Brown’s ability to be an interior speed rusher is impressive, but in the Patriots scheme there’s still a lot of two-gapping and blocker occupying that has to go on. It’s not an easy transition. The Patriots expect Brown to follow in the footsteps of players like Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren and Richard Seymour as a beast up front. It’s a reasonable bet.

The Baseball Show Podcast: Will the Red Sox make a trade before the deadline?

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The Baseball Show Podcast: Will the Red Sox make a trade before the deadline?

0:23 - Lou Merloni and Evan Drellich discuss Chris Sale's continued dominance as he shuts down the Tigers on Sunday afternoon. Sale now has an incredible 0.27 ERA in his last 5 starts.

4:24 - Will the Red Sox make a trade prior to the deadline? Do they have enough ammo to bring in an impact player? Merloni and Drellich talk about what positions the Red Sox should look to upgrade before July 31st.

9:05 - David Price started off the unofficial 2nd half of the season with 6.1 innings of shutout ball. Is he someone the Red Sox can rely on going forward? Lou and Evan break down what they expect to see from Price.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Report: Red Sox could be suitors for Hamels, Straily

Report: Red Sox could be suitors for Hamels, Straily

As the July 31 trade deadline draws nearer, the Boston Red Sox have been exploring the market for arms, from Zach Britton to Jeurys Familia to Mike Fiers.

According to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, we could possibly add two more to that wish list: Texas Rangers lefthander Cole Hamels, and Miami Marlins righthander Dan Straily.

There's a belief that the 34-year-old Hamels will be dealt before the deadline, cemented further perhaps by comments Hamels made earlier in the week to Philly.com's Scott Lauber, in which he said a return to the Phillies -- where he won his first and only World Series title -- "would be a blessing". Cafardo names the Red Sox as "possibly" having interest, and it wouldn't be the first time the they've shown interest in the former World Series MVP and four-time All-Star.

Back in 2015, the Red Sox made a failed bid at the deadline for Hamels, who wound up going to the Rangers. A year later, Hamels told WEEI's Rob Bradford that he wouldn't have invoked his no-trade clause on a deal to Boston.

Hamels is expected to get the ball Monday night against Oakland, amidst a forgettable stretch in which he's 1-2 with a 9.53 ERA over his last four starts.

Elsewhere, Cafardo says the Marlins "feel they can get the Red Sox interested" in Straily, but wonders if they have the assets to get a deal done.

"The Marlins aren't completely enamored by the choices from the Red Sox farm system," Cafardo writes. "There is some sentiment for Blake Swihart but with Christian Vazquez gone until September sometime, the Red Sox may not be able to swing such a deal."

Straily, 29, is 4-4 in 15 starts this season for Miami, with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE