This MLB deadline has a lot of action. It really seemed as though any player with above average stats was being sent to the tight division battle in Southern California. However, Boston and Tampa Bay are also locked in a tight division battle in the AL East. Both teams were expected to make moves to give themselves that missing edge over each other. Following the deadline, did Boston’s moves even give them an edge?
This acquisition was the big one for Boston. After losing out on Anthony Rizzo to a team about 9 games out of first place, Schwarber makes a fine replacement. So far this season, Schwarber has put up a batting average of .253 and an OPS of .910 with 25 home runs for the Nationals. 12 of those homeruns actually came in a 10-game stretch, tying an MLB record.
Schwarber won’t be available right away. He is still recovering from injury but is expected to return in the near future. When he does, there will be some questions on where he will play. The Red Sox already have a decent outfield, so Schwarber may not play there every day. They could place him at first, but that’s not a natural position for him. What is a natural position for him is catcher. Boston could shift Schwarber throughout the line up depending on the matchup.
Coming from Minnesota, Robles had been playing the role of closer for the Twins. With the struggling Twins, Robles had appeared in a total of 44 innings with an ERA of 4.91 and 43 strikeouts. Not really lights-out closing pitcher stats. Nonetheless, Robles still can get outs when needed.
With the Red Sox already having well established set up pitcher and closing pitcher in Adam Ottavino and Matt Barnes, Robles most likely would not be the go to guy in the 8th or 9th inning. However, his presence in the bullpen would give the Red Sox a boost. Down the stretch, games can be won and lost by the depth of a bullpen. Having three good late inning pitchers is absolutely beneficial to the Red Sox.
The Red Sox acquired Austin Davis from the Pirates in exchange for infielder, Michael Chavis. Davis has only appeared in 10 games for Pittsburgh, pitching only 9.2 innings. In those outings, he’s garnered an ERA of 5.59. Again, not very impressive stats.
Similar to the Robles acquisition though, this move is all about bullpen depth. Davis is a left-handed pitcher and having LHP’s in your bullpen is always good. Davis probably will not see too many outings in Boston, but he will most likely be utilized for lefty on lefty match ups.
Do These Players Give Boston An Edge?
The Red Sox and Rays are battling it out for the division title, it was expected that both teams would buy big at the deadline. The Rays fired the first shots after trading for Minnesota’s Nelson Cruz last Thursday. It was expected Boston would fire back with a move to get a slugger of their own. That move ended up being the deal for Schwarber.
However, Boston’s acquisitions do not necessarily give them the edge over Tampa. Yes Schwarber will undoubtedly be valuable to Boston, but he can’t win the division for them alone. Boston’s front office may have felt not much needed to be done to the team at this point. That really isn’t something that’s hard to imagine. The Red Sox have had stellar year all around, there really is not any major concern that requires a shake-up.
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