AL East’s Most Likely To Be Traded: Boston Red Sox


GMs across baseball have varying opinions on the value of their minor league systems. Some teams use their system primarily to build their major league roster (e.g. Tampa Bay), while others are more inclined to use their minor leaguers as trade pieces to supplement the major league club. This series will take a look at some of the most likely players to be traded from the AL East this offseason.

Boston Red Sox:

Xander Bogaerts hits a single during the third inning of the 2012 All Star Futures Game (Photo Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE)

After a disastrous 2012 that saw the Red Sox finish 5th in the AL East, one can expect some big changes in Boston. They began early with the trading of a quarter BILLION in committed salary to the Dodgers in the form of: Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto. While some may be tempted to think the Red Sox are going to rebuild, think again. Ben Cherington and company have to make a quick turn around, and because of that, some of their best trade pieces in the minors are likely going to be available.

One of the best pieces they have is one that they can likely afford to move. Xander Bogaerts currently ranked as the Red Sox #1 prospect, and profiles as a SS-3B type. From all accounts, Bogaerts is on the fast track to the majors at 20, but may have a difficult time getting there in Boston.

Bogaerts started 2012 in Class A Advanced Salem, and jumped to AA after posting a line of .302/.378/.505 in 104 games. He has shown an ability to hit to all fields, and hit a combined 20 HR’s between A, and AA. With some developed plate discipline, Bogaerts won’t be long for the major leagues.

So why would Ben Cherington and company trade the #1 ranked prospect in their system, and the #31 overall (according to By all accounts, Bogaerts is going to be a fine major leaguer, but many scouts believe he’ll end up having to shift to 3B, as his range may be lacking to play SS in the majors.

If Bogaerts is likely to move to 3B as he progresses, there is a giant roadblock in Boston that he will be hard pressed to move. The emergence of Will Middlebrooks was enough to get Kevin Youkilis out of town, and Middlebrooks seems poised to spend the next decade or more at the hot corner in Bean town. The Red Sox would likely be better served trying to move Bogaerts before he is no longer seen as a SS, thus maximizing his value to potential trade suitors.

While it is possible Xander Bogaerts makes strides defensively, and the Red Sox keep him around in case the Jose Iglesias experiment doesn’t work out, it would not be surprising to see them use one of their most valuable minor league pieces, and try to make a quick return to being competitive in the AL East. The Red Sox need pitching, some OF help, and a 1st baseman, so they will undoubtedly be making some moves this offseason.

It remains to be seen if Bogaerts is a traded or not, but there’s little doubt the Red Sox will be active this offseason. The Red Sox front office has a tall task, and using a valuable piece like the SS-3B may be one of the quickest ways to get back to being competitive in the AL East.


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