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.
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