As Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports, the Red Sox are interested in making a trade that would bring them Marlins third baseman Martin Prado and reliever David Phelps. This news comes on the heels of recent reports that the Marlins are likely to become “active sellers” after the All-Star break, with Prado, Phelps, and closer AJ Ramos being the players they’re most eager to move.
Even if he plays like he has during the first half, Prado would plug a huge hole for the Red Sox. Coming into play on Sunday, he was hitting .273 with a career-worst .299 on-base percentage and a .388 slugging percentage through 127 plate appearances. But as long as he can stay healthy—which isn’t a given, as he’s dealt with injuries to both hamstrings this season—he’ll be an upgrade over the collection of players that has handled the hot corner for Boston over the first half. The 33-year-old Prado is a .292/.341/.423 career hitter, so he’s got the potential to provide a serious boost if he can find his previous form.
Deven Marrero, Pablo Sandoval, Josh Rutledge, Marco Hernandez, Tzu-Wei Lin, and Brock Holt have all gotten starts for the Red Sox at third this year. As a whole, Boston’s third basemen have hit just .228/.281/.332 with seven homers in 337 plate appearances.
Prado would stabilize that position, though his contract could be a point of concern for the Red Sox, as he’s making $11.5 million this season and will earn $28.5 million over the next two seasons. They’ve got the best third base prospect in baseball, 20-year-old Rafael Devers, at Double-A, so it’s possible that Prado would be relegated to a bench role for the final two years of his deal if Devers is big-league ready by next season.
Phelps, meanwhile, would be a great addition to an already-good Red Sox bullpen. None of Boston’s relievers have gone through significant struggles this season, and they may also get highly-regarded right-hander Carson Smith back at some point, so it would be interesting to see which pitcher would be bumped off the roster to make room for Phelps. But with Rick Porcello and Boston’s collection of fifth starters having been rather inconsistent this season, Phelps—a former starter—would be a nice option to bridge the gap between the starter and the late-inning guys.