Since taking over the Red Sox in late 2019, Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom has often traded veterans for prospects to help rebuild the farm system that his predecessor, Dave Dombrowski, depleted. Over the last 3 1/2 years, Bloom has traded away the likes of Mookie Betts, David Price, Andrew Benintendi, Hunter Renfroe, Christian Vazquez, Enrique Hernandez and others in an effort to restock the minors.
With Boston bordering on contention this year, fans are wondering whether Bloom will make similar future-oriented moves ahead of the Aug. 1 trade deadline. The Red Sox are still an old team (eighth-oldest in MLB), after all, which may tempt Bloom to swap out some of the team’s older players for younger talent.
With a playoff berth in reach, however, now is not the time to sell. Boston is only 1.5 games out of a Wild Card spot and should be looking to add players rather than unload them.
That said, here are three veterans the Red Sox should hang on to at the trade deadline.
3 Veterans the Red Sox Should Keep
1. James Paxton
After making just six starts from 2020-2022, James Paxton has returned from his recent injury woes with a vengeance in 2023. The 34-year-old lefty has been terrific across 12 starts, going 6-2 with a 3.46 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP and a 10.4 K/9 in 65 innings.
More importantly, he’s one of the few members of Boston’s starting rotation that’s actually healthy right now along with Brayan Bello and Kutter Crawford. With Chris Sale, Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock all on the shelf, the Red Sox can’t afford to lose Paxton.
Big Maple will be a free agent this winter, and Boston seems unlikely to re-sign him after letting veteran starters Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Wacha and Rich Hill walk in free agency last winter. Still, that doesn’t mean you should trade him and essentially kiss your playoff hopes goodbye.
There’s always the chance that Paxton gets hurt at any moment, but if the Red Sox are still in the postseason hunt in September it will likely be because of him.