Red Sox Analysis

Cora has sights set on October ahead of trade deadline

“It’s not about how many prospects you have or where your farm system is."

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The Boston Red Sox have put themselves in playoff contention ahead of the MLB trade deadline, and manager Alex Cora wants the front office to act accordingly.

Despite injuries plaguing the pitching staff, Cora's group has won 11 of its last 13 games and sits only 1.5 games out of the final wild card spot. That impressive run has turned the Red Sox from likely sellers at the deadline to a club that many believe should add talent in hopes to make some noise in the postseason.

It's clear where Cora stands on the matter.

“We’re in a good place. But at the end of the day, the place that we like is to play in October,” Cora said, per's Chris Cotillo. “It’s not about how many prospects you have or where your farm system is. It might be No. 1 or 30th or whatever. The one that really counts is how many games you win in October and how many games you play in October. That’s what we’re shooting for.

“For all the ups and downs, we’re right there. It’s not how you get into the dance. It’s what you do there.”

On the surface, Cora's statement appears to be a strong message for chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox front office. Bloom has been reluctant to part ways with the organization's top prospects since taking over for Dave Dombrowski after the 2019 season. But with the team playing as well as it has, Bloom and Cora seem to be on the same page with the trade deadline looming.

“It is a big difference from last year and that isn’t just on the young players,” Bloom told Cotillo. “I think it speaks to the group as a whole and the way the staff has kept everybody in a good place. Veterans and rookies alike, everybody’s just focused on the right things. I do think that’s one of the biggest differences that we’ve seen so far this year.

"Again, we’re not where we wanna be, but last year when some of the things went wrong, it really kinda derailed the season and we’ve been able to get to this point in the season with plenty of things not going as planned and still be in this race and still being able to look ahead to to hopefully doing some pretty cool things over the last couple months.”

The Red Sox still need to hold their head above water for the next two weeks. That shouldn't be an issue in the near term with two games against the lowly Oakland A's, followed by a three-game series against the disappointing New York Mets at Fenway Park. The week leading up to the Aug. 1 deadline, however, will be a challenge with a two-game set against the Atlanta Braves at home followed by a trip out west for a three-game series vs. the San Francisco Giants.

If Boston does add at the deadline, pitching should be the focus. WEEI's Rob Bradford reported the team's priorities are a back-of-the-rotation starters and a seventh-inning right-handed reliever.

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