Dan's Dugout: Red Sox Certain to Counteract Stanton Swap • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Dugout: Red Sox Certain to Counteract Stanton Swap

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – Everybody at the Baseball Winter Meetings expects the Boston Red Sox to balance the scales of the American League East in the wake of the trade that sent slugger Gioncarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees.

The Baseball Winter Meetings are in Orlando this week.
Credit: Dan Schlossberg

The Sox are front-runners to acquire White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu and are also eyeing Matt Kemp, a righthanded slugger likely to feast on the Green Monster in Fenway Park.

Boston suffered a rare power shortage last summer and didn’t last long in postseason play after edging the Yankees in the AL East title chase.

The Sox will swap gifted centerfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. and one or two others from the varsity roster of their playoff team, which was defeated by the Houston Astros in the Division Series.

General manager Dave Dombrowski, backed by a substantial bank account, has never hesitated to make tabloid headlines and this week’s meetings – slow thus far – will feel the effects as soon as Wednesday.

Boston bettered the Yankees by only two games last year but the acquisition of Stanton changes the balance of power.

That’s why the Baltimore Orioles are listening to offers for third baseman Manny Machado a full year before he hits free agency. The Toronto Blue Jays figure to be active traders too, especially if they’re willing to move former MVP Josh Donaldson. Even franchise icon Evan Longoria could be available from a Tampa Bay club that is rebuilding again.

Manny Machado has become trade bait for Baltimore

Perhaps the best available third baseman is free agent Mike Moustakas, who just became the single-season home run leader of the Kansas City Royals.

Teams desperate for a third baseman include the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, and of course the Royals.

The only third baseman moved so far is Chase Headley, returned to the San Diego Padres by the Yankees in a minor transaction that involved several other players Tuesday.

Moustakas is one of eight Royals suddenly available to sign with any club. With such massive defections looming, Kaycee has gone from world champions two years ago to one of the weakest teams in the game, just ahead of the payroll-stripping Miami Marlins and the pitching-poor Cincinnati Reds.

With so many clubs in need and so little time left, rumors were rife in the hallways of the Swan and Dolphin Hotel Tuesday night.

The Mets, for example, were linked to four of their former players: first baseman Lucas Duda, second baseman Neil Walker, outfielder Jay Bruce, and set-up reliever Addison Reed.

Has Jake Arrieta thrown his last pitch for the Cubs?

The Chicago Cubs, anxious to replace erstwhile ace Jake Arietta and closer Wade Davis, respectively, added lefty starter Drew Smyly and hard-throwing closer Brandon Morrow. The Phillies landed Pat Neshek, whom they had before, and the Rockies reeled in a big fish to fill the shoes of defecting closer Greg Holland when they signed ex-Indian Bryan Shaw.

To keep track of the wheeling and dealing to come, check out the agate transactions box in any major newspaper. With multiple bidding wars already in progress and teams determined to set their rosters, deals should get done soon.

Just ask the Boston Red Sox.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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