The Red Sox have proven to be a real force in the American League this season. However, the trade market is heating up, and the Red Sox are going to need to make a move to keep the Tampa Bay Rays at bay. The Rays have made two moves in the last 24 hours, including acquiring the ageless slugger, Nelson Cruz. As the trade deadline approaches, there are a few clear spots holding this team back. The first baseman position has been a major area of concern with Bobby Dalbec posting a -1.1 WAR this season. There has been a lot of talk about Anthony Rizzo. While a left-handed bat makes sense on paper, Rizzo is not hitting right-handed pitching well at all. In fact, he has a .206 average against RHP compared to .333 versus LHP. It doesn’t make sense to acquire another first baseman that can’t hit right-handed pitching. Jesús Aguilar, however, could solve our problems.
Aguilar is a right-handed hitter but has reverse splits. In other words, he hits much better against right-handers than left. The addition of Aguilar makes sense for a few reasons:
Lengthening The Lineup:
One of the biggest issues with the Boston Red Sox is that the bottom third of the order appears to be automatic outs at times. Adding the power bat of Jesús Aguilar would lengthen the middle of the order and add even more pop to an already powerful lineup. Aguilar is hitting .263 with 17 home runs, 68 RBI’s and a .793 OPS. My favorite stat for Aguilar: 68 strikeouts in 364 plate appearances. Aguilar has the ability to put one over the fence at any time, but can also move the line. Dalbec’s WAR is so low, in part, by having completely useless at-bats. So many good things can happen when the ball is put in play, and Aguilar does that at a much higher clip than the current first base options for Boston.
Perfect Platoon Pairing:
One thing Cora is known for is putting players in positions to succeed. Aguilar and Dalbec have both been negatively affected by not being in a platoon. Aguilar has solid overall numbers but his at-bats versus left-handed pitching have hurt him. He is currently hitting .238/.337/.405 against lefties. He is getting on base at a high clip but not doing nearly as much damage. 14 of 17 Aguilar home runs have come against right-handed pitching.
Meanwhile, Bobby Dalbec has done really well against left-handed pitching despite having horrible overall numbers. Here is what the Red Sox could be getting if they pair the two together:
|Jesús Aguilar vs RHP||.272||14||57||.321||.810|
|Bobby Dalbec vs LHP||.273||5||17||.291||.796|
That duo makes for a dangerous pairing down the stretch. Aguilar would do most of the damage while Dalbec would come in to handle the occasional lefty.
Team Control For Chaim
If you have been following Chaim Bloom’s values, you’d know that he is trying to make moves that help the team win in the present and in the future. Easier said than done, but it makes sense. Jesús Aguilar is under control for the 2022 season. This actually is the perfect length in my opinion. It means that if we don’t win it all, the prospects were not traded for nothing. Aguilar and Dalbec could continue their platoon for the 2022 season while Triston Casas continues to rise up the minor league rankings. With a prospect of his caliber on the way, it doesn’t make sense to trade for a player with multiple years of control left over. However, Aguilar being under contract for 2022 fits right into Chaim’s strategy.