Red Sox

The six Red Sox players most likely to be traded at deadline

Red Sox

Is this the last week we'll see this Boston Red Sox core intact?

The Red Sox are 5-15 this month and in the midst of a five-game losing streak. They've been outscored 67-13 in that span and suddenly, after an encouraging June, look poised to sell at the trade deadline rather than load up for another postseason run.

Tomase: Bloom has only one course of action over the next week

That means several notable names could be on the move over the next week or so. All-Star third baseman Rafael Devers likely is untouchable despite his contract situation, but most of the active roster should be on the table if Chaim Bloom and the front office commit to a fire sale.

So, which Red Sox players are most likely to be moved if the team decides to sell? You'll want to monitor these six names leading up to the Aug. 2 deadline.

Christian Vazquez, C

Vazquez is boosting his trade value with one of the best seasons of his career at the plate. The soon-to-be 32-year-old is slashing .277/.322/.434 with eight homers and 38 RBI in 77 games. Those numbers should make him a hot commodity for teams in need of a reliable backstop.

Given his expiring contract, plus Boston having catchers Connor Wong and Ronaldo Hernandez waiting in the wings, Vazquez seems to be the most likely Red Sox player to be dealt. He's also been the subject of trade rumors for the last year or so. The organization showed faith in the 2018 World Series champion by exercising his option for this season, but this feels like the right time to part ways.

 

Michael Wacha, RHP

Wacha has been an afterthought since being placed on the injured list earlier this month. He should be returning soon, though, and he could bring a significant boost to another team's pitching staff when he does.

The 31-year-old, who signed a one-year contract with Boston this past offseason, has been one of the team's best starters this season. Through 13 starts, he's posted a 6-1 record and 2.69 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP. Teams are always searching for starting pitching at the deadline, so Wacha's name should be mentioned in plenty of trade discussions over the next week.

Matt Strahm, LHP

Strahm has had his ups and downs in his first season with Boston, but all things considered, he's been one of the club's more reliable relievers. The 30-year-old southpaw has a 3.58 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 33 appearances. With his contract set to expire at the end of this season, teams probably wouldn't have to give up a whole lot to get him. That makes him a pretty attractive option for teams looking for bullpen help for a potential playoff run.

J.D. Martinez, DH

Red Sox fans undoubtedly would hate to see Martinez in a different uniform this season, but they'd really hate seeing the 34-year-old slugger leave for nothing next offseason. Martinez is set to be a free agent after this year and it doesn't seem like Boston is in a position to make re-signing him next winter a priority. And with the designated hitter now in the National League, chances are another team will pay more than what the Red Sox are willing to offer for his services.

If the Red Sox commit to selling at this trade deadline, Martinez almost certainly will be packing his bags. He'd yield a bigger return than every other option on the trading block not named Xander Bogaerts.

Nathan Eovaldi, RHP

Eovaldi's trade value may have taken a nosedive in recent weeks with his noticeable dip in velocity. Still, with his contract expiring after this season, we can expect the Red Sox to include the veteran right-hander's name in trade discussions with teams in need of pitching help for the stretch run.

If Eovaldi snaps out of his current funk, he could help a contender similarly to how he helped Boston during its 2018 World Series campaign. The 32-year-old is coming off the best season of his MLB career and at the very least can be a solid backend rotation arm, even if he isn't 100 percent.

Xander Bogaerts, SS

With no sign of a contract extension coming for Bogaerts, all signs point toward the club shipping him to a contender at the trade deadline. The homegrown All-Star shortstop does have a full no-trade clause, however, so he would have to approve any potential deal.

Since the Red Sox are spiraling and the organization isn't willing to pay him what he's worth, Bogaerts likely would waive that no-trade to contend for a championship this season. It makes sense for Boston because it's better than losing him for nothing in free agency next winter, but this is eerily similar to the botched Jon Lester situation from 2014.