3 Players the Red Sox Should Trade This Season if They're Out of Contention by the Deadline

J.D. Martinez, Jackie Bradley Jr.
Boston Red Sox OF Jackie Bradley Jr. and DH JD Martinez | Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Now that the Red Sox have shaken up the city of Boston with the controversial Mookie Betts trade, one can assume they'll definitely be worse than their 84-78 record last year.

The Sox don't figure to be contending by the trade deadline, especially with the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays all getting much better this offseason. In the rare event they are, sure, it's possible they hang onto most of their guys. But if the playoffs are nothing but a pipe dream, here are three players they should trade to shake things up and get maximum value in return.

3. Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez
Boston Red Sox SP Eduardo Rodriguez | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The left-hander just isn't what the Sox need, especially with their rotation in shambles at the moment. After four years in Boston, E-Rod finally put together a respectable campaign and a career year in 2019, going 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA. However, it was only his first year pitching over 200 innings (and first time throwing more than 137), he led the league in walks, and registered a 1.33 WHIP. He's making $8.3 million this year and will earn even more in 2021, which is his final year of arbitration eligibility. Nonetheless, if he's pitching well in the first half of the year, there's no doubt the Sox can get a good return for him while shedding some more payroll.

2. Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jackie Bradley Jr.
Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox | Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

A former All-Star and Golden Glove winner, Bradley Jr. has an $11 million expiring deal. He's one of the best defensive outfielders in the league, which means a contender will gladly take him on board with that favorable salary once the second half of the season rolls around. The Sox can make do here with Kevin Pillar, Andrew Benintendi and Alex Verdugo in the outfield if Bradley is dealt.

1. JD Martinez

J.d. Martinez
Boston Red Sox slugger JD Martinez | Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

This will be a big one because it'll all depend on Martinez playing well during the first half of the year. No team is going to want to take on approximately $12 million of his salary (he's making $23.75 million in 2020) for the second half of the season in addition to $19.35 million salaries for 2021 and 2022. The slugger will be a sought after target if he's tearing the cover off the ball like he's done the past five years and teams will have no issue taking on this money as long as that's the case. In return, Boston can get some prospects and free up some money to spend next offseason.