Tomase: Red Sox in dreaded no man’s land after uninspiring deadline originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Red Sox opened the trade deadline as sellers. They finished it as half-hearted buyers. That leaves them where no team ever wants to be, but where they probably belong — stuck in the middle.
One can argue they’re ever so marginally better today than they were when the weekend began. They addressed deficiencies at first base (Eric Hosmer) and in the outfield (Tommy Pham), but created holes at catcher (Christian Vazquez) and in relief (Jake Diekman, who may actually end up improving the bullpen by his absence).
Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom described the roster as “more functional,” which isn’t exactly Rally Monkey levels of inspiring.
With Rafael Devers returning Tuesday night and the pressure now off Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez, it’s entirely possible the Red Sox go on a run and look more like the world-beaters of June than the egg-beaters of July. It may even buy Bloom a reprieve in the court of public opinion.
However, the schedule is a bear, and the overall talent level probably projects to be more lamb-like over the long haul. With Chris Sale effectively done for the year, Trevor Story recovering from a broken wrist, Eovaldi’s velocity down significantly, and the bullpen featuring just three reliable arms, it’s hard to imagine the Red Sox sustaining a playoff push into October, let alone through it.
And when they inevitably fall short before Martinez, Eovaldi and probably Bogaerts depart in free agency, we’ll look back at the first two days of August as a missed opportunity.
If you had asked me last night, I would’ve thought we would’ve made more moves than we did. .. At the end of the day, we didn’t want to force anything.
Chaim Bloom on the Red Sox’ trade deadline activity
The Red Sox didn’t so much walk the tightrope as hog tie themselves with it. It’s hard to call Pham and Hosmer “buys,” even if they improve the outfield offense and first base defense, because they’re minor moves best characterized as tinkering around the margins. By contrast, Vazquez was a clear sell, which isn’t sitting well in the clubhouse. Bogaerts waffled on whether to call it, “waving the white flag.”
Bloom was asked if he considered making the Hosmer and Pham deals without, you know, trading his starting catcher.
“We wanted to give this group a chance at the postseason,” Bloom said….