MLB Trade Deadline

Report: Red Sox nearly traded Turner, were in on veteran ace

It was a quiet trade deadline for Boston, but Chaim Bloom apparently flirted with the idea of pulling off a blockbuster deal.

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Even more perplexing than the Boston Red Sox' inaction at the 2023 MLB trade deadline is what they almost did.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Thursday that the Red Sox nearly traded veteran Justin Turner -- one of their best offensive players this season -- to the Miami Marlins.

"The Marlins felt they were close to acquiring Turner. When the proposed deal fell through, they pivoted to trades for two other hitters, Josh Bell and Jake Burger," Rosenthal wrote.

"What the Red Sox would have received in return for Turner is not known. But for president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom to again consider disrupting his clubhouse in the middle of an encouraging season, the package must have been enticing. The Marlins are deep in controllable starting pitching, precisely what Bloom was seeking to acquire at the deadline."

The Red Sox held on to Turner and other veterans on the roster who were considered to be valuable trade chips, including Adam Duvall, James Paxton, and Alex Verdugo. Their only moves before the deadline were trading Kiké Hernández to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor-league pitchers, acquiring reliever Mauricio Llovera from the San Francisco Giants, and buying low on infielder Luis Urias from the Milwaukee Brewers.

However, Rosenthal reports Bloom and Co. did look into making one blockbuster deal for an ace.

"The Red Sox were among the teams that got shut out in the thin starting-pitching market, along with the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Braves and Reds. But according to sources, they were one of the clubs that pursued a deal for the most accomplished starter who did get moved — three-time Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander," Rosenthal wrote.

The Mets ended up sending the three-time Cy Young Award winner back to the Houston Astros. It's unclear how far the trade talks got between the Red Sox and Mets, but Boston even being involved in discussions for Verlander is surprising, especially given their apparent willingness to trade Turner. Those two moves represent two completely different philosophies.

Ultimately, Boston chose to stand pat while its American League competitors loaded up for a postseason push. The team will hope the pending returns of Trevor Story, Chris Sale, Garrett Whitlock, and Tanner Houck from the injured list serve as the "deadline additions" that propel them into the playoffs.

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