The Boston Red Sox have without question felt the absence of superstar Xander Bogaerts this season. They are experiencing some growing pains without their longtime unofficial captain but are starting to put things together.
With less than two months to go until the Major League Baseball trade deadline, the Red Sox are reportedly preparing to add, especially up the middle.
“The Red Sox, according to industry sources, are hunting for some middle infield help and a veteran has emerged as a potential target,” MassLive’s Sean McAdam wrote Friday.
“One name that’s been linked to the Red Sox: Oakland’s Aledmys Díaz,” McAdam continued. “Díaz is 32 and having a down year offensively (.525 OPS), but has experience all over the infield and only last year, was still good for 12 homers in just 92 games. And, obviously, the A’s are willing to move anybody and everybody.”
Adding some depth up the middle would be wise. But, why Díaz?
The veteran middle infielder is hitting .205 with seven extra-base hits including one home run, 10 RBIs and a 54 OPS+ in 48 games this season.
He’s logged a -1.0 WAR and ranked in the third percentile in outs above average this season. In other words, he’s been a replacement-level player offensively and defensively.
Meanwhile, the current primary Red Sox shortstop, Pablo Reyes, is hitting .305 with four extra-base hits, nine RBIs and a .706 OPS in 23 games on top of solid defense.
Trevor Story is nearing a second-half return and Reyes appears to be a fine solution in the meantime.
As long as Red Sox manager Alex Cora continues to keep Kiké Hernández — who leads MLB in errors — away from shortstop, they should be fine until Story returns.
Díaz’s career has been impressive on the whole, he was an All-Star in 2016 and has a 102 career OPS+ in eight seasons. However, he’s done nothing this season to show that he can help a potential contender.