The Boston Red Sox are in an interesting spot ahead of the Aug. 1 MLB trade deadline.
They are five games over .500 at 48-43 thanks to a five-game win streak and eight wins in their last nine games. They are playing well and have a favorable upcoming schedule to make up more ground in the playoff race. Boston currently sits just two games behind the third and final wild card berth in the American League.
At the same time, the Red Sox also don't have the look and feel of a true World Series contender. Is that the kind of team the front office should upgrade by trading prospects for immediate help?
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Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen firmly believes his team should be trade deadline buyers. In fact, he thinks they're not far away from being a "very, very good team."
"When I signed my two years here I’m going to have my time invested here," Jansen recently said on the "Baseball Isn’t Boring" podcast. "I want to be dedicated here. First of all, I love this organization. I love this city. I think it’s a very historic organization. It’s a winning organization, so I don’t think you should break it. Break it and then what?
"For them to find me and Chris Martin and put those pieces after the last couple of years for this organization, it wasn’t great. You see the 1-2 punch with us. At this point, it’s for them to figure out what’s best. To me, it’s just to put another punch back there with us. I think we’ve got a good team. We’re just a few pieces away from probably being a very, very good team."
Jansen later added: "Hopefully we keep this team together and find ways to add pieces."
The veteran closer hasn't been on a team that missed the playoffs since 2012. That was his third year with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and they've reached the postseason every year since, including a 2020 World Series title with Jansen leading the bullpen.
The Red Sox currently are on pace to finish last in the American League East for the fourth time in the last five seasons. But they are still well within striking distance of a wild card spot, and a few roster upgrades could put them over the top. Whether ownership decides to make that commitment remains to be seen, but unless the team falls apart in the coming weeks, it would be hard to justify selling at the trade deadline.