John Tomase

Cora explains why he's no fan of standing pat at MLB trade deadline

The Red Sox entered Wednesday in the third wild card spot.

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Alex Cora made his theory of the MLB trade deadline pretty clear on Wednesday: If you're not getting better, you're getting worse.

With more than a month until the deadline, the Red Sox are positioning themselves to buy. Of course, we might've felt that way the last two years, too, and they did relatively little. Whatever happens at the end of July, Cora certainly sounded like someone who hopes it's more impactful than 2022 or 2023.

"Honestly, we didn't get better," he said. "We just stayed the same, and the teams around us got better. I can walk you through the trading deadline the way I see it. There's three ways you can go: you buy, you sell, you stay put. When you stay put, well, there's going to be teams that they added, and they're going to be better than you. It's not that your team was a bad team, but the other ones around you got better."

Case in point: last July, the Red Sox won 16 of 21 games to put themselves in a position to contend for a wild card. When the Aug. 1 deadline arrived, however, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom decided to keep the team as is. The Red Sox lost eight of 10 and Bloom ultimately lost his job.

"Yeah, we played well until Jarren (Duran) got hurt last year and (Triston) Casas, but that was it," Cora said. "We didn't have more. We'll see what happens in a month, month and a half. We've just got to keep playing better baseball."

The last three Red Sox teams have suffered trade deadline letdowns, either underwhelmed by management's actions, or mentally drained from being a part of constant rumors. Cora doesn't see that scenario unfolding this time, thanks to the youth of the roster.

"I've managed enough," he said. "This is a different group, a group that is establishing themselves as big leaguers. The bitching and moaning of trades or not trades, whatever, I don't think is going to happen this year."

In fact, Cora would like his team to retrain its sights away from the wild card and onto a bigger prize. They may trail the Yankees by 8.5 games, but New York has lost eight of its last 11.

"Hey, let's get greedy," Cora said. "There's teams ahead of us that's not playing good baseball. I know probably one of them is only for five days, but there's more out there. This brand of baseball, I think we can maintain how we're playing. Let's not settle for the third wild card, let's go higher and see where the season takes us."

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