Former MLB GM links Red Sox to two potential trade targets at second base

Red Sox

Jonathan India could be a coveted trade target given his production at the plate and contract.

Cincinnati Reds' Jonathan India celebrates his double against the Cleveland Guardians during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Cleveland.
Jonathan India won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2021. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The Red Sox’ top offseason priority hinges around pitching, but Craig Breslow and Boston’s top brass might also want to bolster their club’s depth at second base.

With Trevor Story shifting over to shortstop for the foreseeable future following Xander Bogaerts’ exit in free agency in 2022, Boston had a sizable void at second throughout the 2023 campaign.

Boston arrived on Opening Day in late March with Christian Arroyo slotted in at second. But that spot quickly became a carousel for the Sox in the midst of a season where injuries and ineffectiveness forced Alex Cora to juggle the roster time and time again.

The Red Sox still have three potential 2B on the current roster in Pablo Reyes, Enmanuel Valdez, and Ceddanne Rafaela. But an upgrade would be welcomed, especially with Rafaela’s value bolstered when he’s patrolling the outfield.

Given that glaring weak spot on Boston’s depth chart, former MLB Jim Bowden harped on a pair of potential trade targets for the Red Sox during his latest mailbag piece for The Athletic. 

While fielding one question about the Red Sox and the potential value of a trade for San Diego 2B Ha-Seong Kim, Bowden noted that the Padres likely won’t move Kim, considering he’s making just $8 million in 2024 and coming off the best season of his career.

But Bowden did note that Boston has already reached out to several other teams in search of a viable option at second.

“There is no doubt that second base is a priority for the Red Sox as they have already engaged in trade talks with the Reds about Jonathan India and with the Yankees regarding Gleyber Torres.” Bowden wrote.

This is not the first time that the Red Sox have been linked to Torres. As unlikely as it might be that Brian Cashman and Breslow would work together to hash out a deal, WEEI’s Rob Bradford reported earlier this month that the Red Sox have long been interested in the Yankees infielder. 

The 26-year-old Torres batted .273/.347/.453 with 25 home runs and 68 RBIs in 158 games with the Yankees last year. He is entering the final year of arbitration eligibility and will likely make around $14 million next season.

A potential swap centered on Alex Verdugo could placate the Yankees if Boston was fixated on bringing Torres aboard.

It might take a bit more to convince the Reds to part with India, considering the 26-year-old infielder still has another two years of arbitration in place.

Last season, India slashed .244/.338/.407 over 119 games with Cincinnati, slugging 17 home runs and 61 RBI.

Given the team control still in place with India’s contract, Reds president of baseball operations Nick Krall said last week that the organization is not necessarily looking to move its second baseman.

“I wouldn’t say we are motivated (to trade India),” Krall said, as transcribed by Josh Goldberg of The Score. “If a deal comes around, we have to be open to anything. But just motivated to move players off your roster just because ‘that guy might not fit (a specific spot).’ That doesn’t make any sense.”

But if Breslow and the Red Sox are motivated enough to acquire India, a deep prospect pool might be enough to entice the Reds to sit at the negotiating table.