As the sixth inning began two nights ago, the Red Sox removed Pablo Sandoval from the game.
A trade?
Don’t be silly.
The nonwaiver trade deadline is set for 4 p.m. today, and the Sox are eerily quiet. With the worst record in the American League, they’re in no position to give up the farm, even for the pitching they desperately need. Unlike last year, when they dealt Jon Lester, John Lackey, Andrew Miller and Stephen Drew on a frantic deadline day, they don’t have enough players with expiring contracts to be aggressive sellers.
So, while the Red Sox aren’t exactly sitting out the deadline — they have been in touch with several teams about young, controllable starting pitchers — they appear poised to not make a deadline trade for the first time since John Henry took ownership in 2002.
That isn’t meant as a condemnation of the front office but rather a commentary on the state of the franchise. It isn’t easy for a last-place team to improve at the trade deadline, when acquisition costs are often higher than in the offseason.
Besides, the Red Sox have enough issues with their roster to occupy their time.
After going 1-for-5 in last night’s rain-delayed 8-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox — only the Red Sox’ third win in 14 games — Hanley Ramirez is 20-for-95 (.210) in July, which amplifies his defensive problems in left field. Center fielder Mookie Betts (concussion), second baseman Dustin Pedroia (hamstring) and right-hander Clay Buchholz (elbow) are on the disabled list, with no return in sight.
And now Sandoval is dealing with a bruised left forearm after swinging at a third strike from White Sox ace Chris Sale that hit him during the fourth inning.
“He’s sore right now,” manager John Farrell said. “That was a fastball that chased him. It looked like it might have hit him in the throat if he didn’t take it on the wrist. ”
The same couldn’t be said for Sandoval’s early Wednesday night because of dehydration. If anything, it once again raised the issue of the third baseman’s weight, with Farrell acknowledging that Sandoval’s conditioning “continues to be addressed.”
Sandoval, listed at 255 pounds, rejected the suggestion he’ …Read More