The Boston Red Sox have been among the best teams in baseball in the 2021 season with a 60-39 record (tied for second in the MLB) entering play Sunday. While the Red Sox have been a great team, there are holes both in their lineup and in their rotation that need to be filled in order to compete for a world series. If the Red Sox completed one of the five following moves, it could be just what they need to move into true contention.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs
The biggest hole in the lineup and defense is at first base. While Bobby Dalbec has shown flashes of the player he could one day be (Eight home runs, .359 OBP, .959 OPS in 23 games in 2020), he has been underwhelming this year to say the least (10 home runs, .259 OBP, .656 OPS in 79 games in 2021).
The Red Sox have tried to fill the hole at first with Michael Chavis and Christian Arroyo, but each come with their own pitfalls at the position as Chavis has struggled with the bat and this is Arroyo’s first year playing first base.
This is why the Red Sox need to target Anthony Rizzo.
The Chicago Cubs are in complete sell mode after having a terrible stretch of games to put them out of contention. With their three biggest stars (Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javier Baez) all hitting free agency at the end of the 2021 season, they are looking to get pieces for the future. If the Red Sox could pick up Rizzo it would solve both their defensive troubles (Rizzo is a four-time Gold Glove winner) and would add a much-needed left-handed power bat in the lineup.
As Rizzo is on an expiring contract, the Cubs will be looking for whatever they can get. A combination of two Red Sox prospects ranked in the 15-30 range could get the deal done.
José Berríos, SP, Minnesota Twins
Over the past five seasons, Jose Berrios has been one of the more consistent starters in all of baseball. Over that stretch of time, Berrios has not missed one start and has pitched to a career 4.08 ERA (3.48 ERA in 2021). Berrios is a free agent at the end of this season but is arbitration eligible for the 2022 season.
With Berrios being so young (27) and being able to have him under contract for 2022, the Red Sox would need to give up a lot in order to acquire him. A mixture of two Red Sox prospects in the 10-30 range and some international signing money may be able to get this trade done, but this is the least likely to happen out of the five scenarios.