Jeimer Candelario Trade Destination Number 1: Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are back to being legitimate World Series contenders, but they aren’t without their weaknesses. Their starting rotation is a bit light, though they should be helped by the return of Chris Sale, and they rank dead last in baseball in terms of WAR from first basemen, with a walk rate under 5% and a strikeout rate approaching 35%. Their top prospect, Triston Casas, is holding his own in Double A, but he’s not quite ready to make an impact in the middle of a pennant race. Enter Jeimer Candelario, a switch-hitter with patience and strong numbers at Fenway Park (albeit in just 9 games). Candelario could handle first base this year and next, and he could probably slide over to second base once Casas arrives.
Bryan Bello is one of Boston’s fastest rising prospects this season. He posted a 2.27 ERA over six starts in High-A and owns a 4.50 ERA though eight Double-A starts, though his strikeout rate his risen with the jump in competition. He’s striking out 36% of the batters he has faced this year, and he appeared in the Futures Game earlier this month. Bello’s fastball sits in the mid-90s and can reach 98, and both his slider and changeup flash as plus pitches, but the changeup is more consistent. He has a chance to be a #4 starter if everything clicks, but he also carries a fair amount of relief risk. Gilberto Jimenez is a switch-hitting outfielder in the mold of Derek Hill, with plus-plus speed and the chance to be an impact defender in center, but his aggressive approach and lack of power could prevent him from becoming an everyday player.