Red Sox

MLB trade deadline is here and Red Sox kindly reminded Dave Dombrowski of their many flaws

MLB trade deadline is here and Red Sox kindly reminded Dave Dombrowski of their many flaws

BOSTON -- And on the final night before the 4 p.m. trade deadline on Wednesday, the Red Sox reminded us of all the reasons they're currently out of the playoff picture.

You want a summary of the season to date -- and not just the last uplifting week, but the bad that came first -- this was it.

Starter David Price, long hailed as the ace, continued a stealth march to mediocrity that's now six weeks old. Remember those early days of April when no Red Sox starter could last five innings? Price harkened back to them with 4.1 innings of four-run ball, blowing a 3-1 lead in the process.

"It's been a grind over my past five or six starts," said Price, who has posted a 5.48 ERA in his last nine starts. "Outs are tough to get. It's been tough just throwing strikes."

The short outing meant extra innings for the bullpen, a punchline and punching bag practically since Day 1 for its inability to protect leads or keep games in the proper zip code. The trio of Marcus Walden, Josh Taylor, and Colten Brewer combined to blow a 5-4 lead in the sixth. In a perfect world, none of them would be on the roster. In this imperfect one, each has spent a portion of the season looking like he might be Alex Cora's choice for the seventh inning.

Still, this wasn't just about the pitching. The offense may be the best in baseball on paper, but it often disappears in tense situations. The Red Sox went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base, including seven in the final three innings. They moved the tying run to third with two outs in the seventh and ninth, but those innings ended with an Andrew Benintendi strikeout and Christian Vazquez fly ball to left.

"We didn't put them away," Cora acknowledged.

The defense did its part, too. For all his improvements at third base, Rafael Devers made his league-leading 17th error when he dropped a relay in the fourth. Instead of a potential double play and easy inning, Price ended up loading the bases and throwing 28 pitches. He escaped without allowing a run, but the Rays led off the fifth with two homers, a single, and a double to chase him.

The 6-5 loss dropped the Red Sox a game-and-a-half behind the Rays in the wild-card race and took some sheen off the 5-2 start to the season's pivotal 14-game stretch vs. Tampa and New York.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski watched the game from his suite alongside advisors Frank Wren and Tony La Russa. The trade deadline is Wednesday at 4, and if the Red Sox want the final two months of the season to unfold a little more positively than the first four, they'll need to make at least one deal, if not two.

The priority remains relief. Cora did not mince words over the performance of his middle men on Tuesday. Brewer served up the big blow on a two-out, two-run double to Avisail Garcia.

"That can't happen," Cora said. "For us to take it to the next level, we've got to put guys away and that was a big shutdown inning for us. He put a good swing on it, we do what we do, and with two outs, it's tough. We've got to go back tomorrow and try to do it again."

They seem out on Mets closer Edwin Diaz, who blew his fifth save after allowing a hit and two walks in the ninth against the White Sox on Tuesday. They're more likely to target a pair of middle relievers, although one possibility -- Cincinnati's Amir Garrett -- is looking at a suspension after charging the Pirates dugout and throwing haymakers on Tuesday.

Whatever happens, the Red Sox will not reach the playoffs if they continue on their current course. Price, for one, is fascinated to see what upgrades they make.

"Excited," he said. "We aren't where we want to be in the standings but all in all, for the way we started, the way we played at home, we haven't put our best foot forward yet. That's a good sign considering where we are in the standings. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens tomorrow. I think everyone else is too."

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Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton 'will be down for a bit' with calf injury

Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton 'will be down for a bit' with calf injury

Wednesday was another tough day on the injury front for the New York Yankees.

Manager Aaron Boone revealed slugger Giancarlo Stanton "will be down for a bit" due to a Grade 1 right calf strain. The news comes one day after it was announced right-hander Luis Severino will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2020 campaign.

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Injuries have been par for the course with Stanton ever since he first donned Yankee pinstripes in 2018. The former National League MVP has played in only 176 of 324 regular-season games with New York due to bicep, shoulder, and knee ailments.

The Yankees still boast a well-rounded roster that can survive Stanton's absence for a while, but his presence in the middle of the lineup is key to their success. If the 30-year-old indeed misses time, it could be Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, or Mike Tauchman taking his spot in the lineup.

New York's 2020 season begins March 26 vs. the Baltimore Orioles.

MLB Rumors: Red Sox unlikely to 'buy' prospects from Padres in a Wil Myers deal

MLB Rumors: Red Sox unlikely to 'buy' prospects from Padres in a Wil Myers deal

The Boston Red Sox are looking to replenish their farm system, and the San Diego Padres have the talented prospects to make a deal worth their while.

With the Padres looking to ship Wil Myers and part of the $61 million remaining on his contract, the Red Sox would appear to be the perfect fit, especially after clearing some space on their payroll by sending David Price and Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Boston had flirted with San Diego about a similar deal involving Betts, but the Sox instead went with L.A.'s offer.

Since then, the two sides reportedly have discussed a trade that would send Myers and half of his salary to Boston in exchange for a package of prospects that may include pitcher Cal Quantrill.

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Although such a deal makes sense on paper, it's "unlikely" to happen, according to Alex Speier of The Boston Globe.

Speier writes:

However, while the concept is interesting for a Red Sox organization intent on replenishing its upper levels and young big league talent, two major leagues sources characterized any such trade as unlikely. One of those sources characterized the idea mostly as “tire kicking” by the Red Sox rather than a deal with real legs.

The Padres, after all, are trying to improve their chances of contention rather than simply shed payroll. Their goal in pursuing Betts wasn’t to shed Myers’s salary but to add an elite talent. As such, they have little motivation to give up prospects and/or potential big league contributors for the sake of moving Myers unless they could reallocate his salary to acquire another player (likely via trade) such as Francisco Lindor.

As much as the Padres would love to rid themselves of most of Myers' bloated contract, trading him and a package of top prospects for cash doesn't make a whole lot of sense. As Speier notes, that changes if a player of Betts or Lindor's caliber is thrown in the mix. But since that isn't the case, there doesn't seem to be much of a benefit for an up-and-coming San Diego club.

There's still a chance the deal's framework could change -- potentially with a third team involved -- but as of now, a straight-up deal to "buy" Padres prospects probably isn't on the table.