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MLB trade rumors: Red Sox casting wide net in third base search

The AL East leaders have a glaring hole at the hot corner in 2017.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox are searching far and wide for their inevitable third base upgrade at the deadline this season, according to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. Silverman writes that Boston is scouting a list of third basemen including White Sox' Todd Frazier, Mets' T.J. Rivera and Asdrubal Cabrera, Pirates' Josh Harrison and David Freese, Giants' Eduardo Nunez, and Marlins' Martin Prado.

Frazier appears to be the leading candidate, with Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports going as far as to say a deal between Chicago and Boston "seems almost inevitable". Despite a low batting average, Frazier has an OPS+ of 105 this season along with 16 homers and 44 RBIs. Frazier, 31, will head into free agency after the season and would serve as a good bridge to Red Sox top prospect Rafael Devers, who was promoted to AAA Pawtucket this week. As a rental piece, Frazier shouldn't command a prospect inside Boston's top 5, though a pairing with ChiSox closer David Robertson certainly would.

Both Mets infielders are team controlled beyond 2017, but Cabrera could serve as a rental piece if Boston chooses to buy out his $8.5 million 2018 club option. Rivera, 28 and controlled through 2022, has a solid triple-slash line of .303/.348/.459 and would command much more in a deal than Cabrera.

Pittsburgh's Harrison also seems like an unlikely candidate in a potential trade between the two sides, as his team-friendly deal ($32mil from 2018-2020) and solid production commands a deeper prospect package in return. Through 88 games, Harrison is slashing .273/.352/.424 and has already accumulated 2.2 bWAR, his highest single-season bWAR since 2014. To further complicate things, the Pirates were in the thick of Jose Quintana rumors this past offseason and believe they're close to contending in the future.

The Red Sox designated third baseman Pablo Sandoval for assignment earlier this week, electing to eat the over $49.5 million still owed to him. Boston third basemen have combined for an OPS+ of 59 this season, worst in the major leagues.