Red Sox

MLB rumors: Red Sox didn't find Jackie Bradley Jr. trade to their liking

usatsi_11524824_133468180_lowres.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

MLB rumors: Red Sox didn't find Jackie Bradley Jr. trade to their liking

The Boston Red Sox need to figure out which of their upcoming free agents in 2019 and 2020 to pay long-term, and that's going to create a lot of tough decisions.

The Sox could get ahead of those decisions by trading one or more of their veterans who are up for free agency in the near future. One of those players with free agency on the horizon is outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., and The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday that Boston looked at trading the 2018 American League Championship Series MVP but didn't find a package that made sense.

Left-hander Chris Sale, righty Rick Porcello, shortstop Xander Bogaerts and designated hitter J.D. Martinez are eligible for free agency after the 2019 season (Martinez if he opts out). Outfielders Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley are scheduled to hit the open market after ‘20.

The Red Sox will not retain all of those players, in part due to ongoing payroll concerns. Talk surfaced at the winter meetings that the team was willing to trade Porcello, Bogaerts or Bradley to clear money, perhaps for bullpen help. A source said the Sox pushed Bradley the hardest, but did not find a deal they liked.

Bradley is an elite defensive player but can be frustratingly inconsistent at the plate. His batting average, home runs and RBI totals have declined in each of the last two years from his career-best 2016 season.

He did come up clutch a few times in the 2018 postseason to help the Red Sox win the World Series. He tallied nine RBI in the ALCS, which Boston won in five games over the Houston Astros.

If the Red Sox don't plan on re-signing Bradley when it's time for his next contract, they might as well move him and try to replenish a farm system that's been depleted as a result of trades for Craig Kimbrel, Chris Sale and others. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Andrew Cashner sees Red Sox as 'dangerous team,' excited to play Yankees

Andrew Cashner sees Red Sox as 'dangerous team,' excited to play Yankees

The Boston Red Sox have been one of the most disappointing teams in Major League Baseball this season, but newly acquired starting pitcher Andrew Cashner is still optimistic about the club's outlook in the second half of the year.

Cashner, who was acquired via trade from the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, will make his first start for the Red Sox on Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. He talked to reporters for the first time since the trade Monday night at Fenway Park, and the veteran right-hander believe in the talent on this team.

"I think this is a dangerous team," Cashner said. "I just don't think they've played to their potential yet. I think the thing I'm looking forward to most is playing the Yankees."

The Red Sox enter Monday 10 games behind the rival New York Yankees for first place in the American League East. The Sox and Cashner will get several attempts to cut into that lead with eight games versus the Bronx Bombers over the next three weeks. 

These matchups should play a pivotal role in the postseason race, which Cashner is excited to experience after not playing in any meaningful games during his short career with the Orioles.

"I'm definitely looking forward to the race," Cashner said. "It's something I've never been in, really. I don't think it's going to inspire me as much, it might give me a boost of (velocity), but as far as inspiring me, you have to prove yourself every year in this game. For me, every year I'm trying to prove myself that I still belong here."

Cashner was among the few bright spots for the Orioles this season. He tallied a 9-3 record with a 3.83 ERA, 66 strikeouts and 29 walks over 96 1/3 innings in 17 starts for Baltimore. He should provide much-needed depth at the end of the rotation, and his ability to rack up innings also is important. Boston's bullpen has been used a ton this year and the results have been poor. Cashner has thrown six or more innings in eight of his last 10 starts. 

15 players contenders could target at MLB trade deadline>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Red Sox designate Eduardo Nuñez for assignment

Red Sox designate Eduardo Nuñez for assignment

After Sunday night's extra innings loss to the National League-leading Dodgers, the Red Sox are making moves. 

Most notably, the Red Sox announced that they are designating Eduardo Nuñez for assignment. This means Boston is removing Nuñez from the 40-man roster, and he can either be traded or placed on irrevocable outright waivers within seven days. 

Nuñez, a hero of 2018's World Series run, has struggled this season to say the least. The 32-year-old is hitting .228 with a .243 on-base percentage, both career-lows. In the Red Sox second-baseman depth chart, he's behind Michael Chavis, Brock Holt and Marco Hernandez. 

Nuñez is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and he likely wouldn't bring back much in a trade as a veteran rental.  

The Red Sox also sent Hector Velázquez, who pitched in all three of Boston's post-All-Star Break games, to Triple-A Pawtucket. Velázquez (5.67 ERA) allowed three earned runs in extra innings against the Dodgers on Sunday night. 

To replace Velázquez and Nuñez, the Sox called up Ryan Weber and Sam Travis to help the bullpen and first basemen depth, respectively. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.