Boston Red Sox Rumors: 3 Nationals targets at the MLB Trade Deadline

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 16: Brad Hand #52 and Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 16: Brad Hand #52 and Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
MIAMI, FLORIDA – JUNE 27: Boston Red Sox trade target Brad Hand (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The MLB Trade Deadline is starting to heat up after a slow start. We’ve recently seen the rival Tampa Bay Rays make a couple of moves, including trading for Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins and then trading Rich Hill to the New York Mets.

With less than a week until the deadline hits, the Boston Red Sox have continued to stand pat so far. However, things could change quickly depending on the status of Eduardo Rodriguez, who was forced out of last nights outing against the New York Yankees after just 1+ inning with migraine symptoms. Given the fact that Rodriguez missed all of last season due to complications from COVID-19, the Sox are understandably going to take things slow with Rodriguez these next few days.

Considering the Sox may have to put more emphasis on pitching at the deadline, they could turn to the Washington Nationals for some help. Despite winning the World Series in 2019, the Nationals have fallen apart, and find themselves likely to be sellers at the deadline considering they are seven games out of first place in the NL East.

Reports have recently come out that Washington will be listening to offers for “anyone not named Juan Soto”, which means that Boston should reach out the Nationals as soon as possible. With the Nationals looking like sellers, here are three players the Red Sox could target before the Trade Deadline approaches.

Boston Red Sox Trade Target No. 3: Brad Hand

After starting off his career as a starter, Brad Hand has quietly turned himself into one of the most consistent relivers in the MLB over his 11 year career. Whatever role he has found himself in in the bullpen, Hand has excelled. Much of his recent work has been as a closer, but Hand has proven to be effective whenever he’s called upon.

After three solid seasons with the Cleveland Indians, Hand signed with Washington this past offseason to help shore up the backend of their bullpen. Hand has lived up to his billing as one of the best closers in the game, as he’s posted a 2.63 ERA to go along with 20 saves so far on the season. Washington hasn’t won a ton of games, but typically when they have, Hand has been there to shut the door.

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If the Sox are looking for bullpen help, there may not be a more reliable option than Hand. He has consistently been great in high leverage situations over the course of his career. Even if he wouldn’t close games in Boston, he could form a deadly trio with Matt Barnes and Adam Ottavino at the back of the bullpen.

Hand is 31 and playing on an expiring contract, so there’s good reason to believe Washington will look to pick something up for him over the next couple of days. Boston doesn’t have a ton of lefty relivers out of the bullpen, so adding Hand would also allow manager Alex Cora some more flexibility when picking his matchups late in games.

In terms of bullpen help, there aren’t going to be many better options than Hand. He won’t cost much more than a midlevel prospect or two, which the Sox can certainly offer. It’s felt like Boston has been an arm short in the pen all season, and Hand could be the solution to that problem.