Red Sox

MLB rumors: Asking prices 'enormous' as trade deadline approaches

MLB rumors: Asking prices 'enormous' as trade deadline approaches

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is nearly two weeks away, and the high asking prices for the top players rumored to be available likely is one reason why we haven't seen any blockbuster deals made at this point.

ESPN's Buster Olney reported Sunday an update on the state of the trade market.

• Executives say that the prices in the trade market continue to be enormous. Teams are asking for very high-end prospects even for rentals, impending free agents such as the New York Mets' Zack Wheeler.

The Boston Red Sox are one team to watch as the trade deadline approaches. 

The defending World Series champions are 10 games behind the rival New York Yankees for first place in the American League East, and they sit 2.5 games in back of the Oakland Athletics for the second-wild card spot. The Sox still have a decent chance of reaching the postseason, but reinforcements likely are needed to avoid a disappointing regular season finish.

Boston acquired veteran starting pitcher Andrew Cashner from the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night. He will make his Red Sox debut Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays and should provide much-needed depth to the back end of the rotation, but the team's primary need ahead of the trade deadline remains bullpen help. Boston's bullpen has been awful at times this season, and the group ranks second the in majors with 18 blown saves.

One problem for the Red Sox is they don't have a robust farm system of high-end prospects to trade for help at the deadline. Those prospects either have graduated to the majors or already were traded in recent years. Bullpen help often is the most sought after position at the trade deadline, therefore the selling teams probably won't have much trouble creating bidding wars for the best available relievers.

The Red Sox shouldn't overpay for one of the top relief pitchers on the market, but acquiring someone to help the bullpen could play a pivotal role in helping secure a postseason berth for the fourth consecutive year.

Dombrowski built dysfunctional Red Sox roster, and team is paying price>>>

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Report: Brian Bannister leaving Red Sox to join Giants

Report: Brian Bannister leaving Red Sox to join Giants

After five seasons in Boston, Brian Bannister is taking his talents elsewhere.

The former Red Sox vice president of pitching development will join the San Francisco Giants, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network.

Bannister was initially hired by the Red Sox as a scout in 2015. Later that year he was promoted to director of pitching analysis and development by then-Sox GM Dave Dombrowski.

In 2016, Bannister became Boston's assistant pitching coach and VP of pitching development. He was removed from the coaching staff but kept the latter title following the 2019 season.

Bannister spent five years as an MLB pitcher with the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals before pursuing a scouting/coaching career.

UPDATE (7:30 p.m. ET): Bannister confirmed his Boston exit Wednesday night in a pair of tweets thanking the Red Sox organization.

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Chaim Bloom: Red Sox 'exploring all options' with Mookie Betts

Chaim Bloom: Red Sox 'exploring all options' with Mookie Betts

Chaim Bloom continues to take the safe approach when it comes to conversations about Mookie Betts' future in Boston.

Bloom was asked on "NESN After Hours" about Betts' contract situation with the superstar right fielder set to become a free agent after the 2020 season. According to the Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer, who was hired in October, all options remain on the table.

“Well, I mean, you’re talking about, as you said, one of the great players in the game,” Bloom said. “We are thrilled to have him, and I know this organization prior to my arrival was happy to have him. Now we have to figure out how we go forward. I think where we are as an organization, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t explore all of our options. But we do that recognizing we have a very good team and one of the best players in the game and we’re going to handle the situation accordingly.”

Watch below:

This kind of answer from Bloom is predictable, but it's telling that a possible trade involving the 2018 American League MVP hasn't been ruled out.

Boston has been adamant about its goal to cut payroll before the new campaign, and parting ways with Betts certainly would help accomplish that. If there's no indication Betts is willing to commit beyond 2020, trading him for a haul of prospects does make sense. Still, as Bloom acknowledges, Betts is one of the best players on the planet and the organization should aim to lock him up long-term.

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