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Adalberto Mondesi

(Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Did The Red Sox Just Steal Adalberto Mondesi?

Adalberto Mondesi
The Red Sox have acquired Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi. Will this trade prove to be a steal for Boston? (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Did The Red Sox Just Steal Adalberto Mondesi?

Did the Red Sox somehow find their shortstop of the future? Maybe more so stop gap until young phenom Marcelo Mayer is ready. The Red Sox had no clear option at shortstop after losing Xander Bogaerts. Kike Hernandez was about to be the everyday shortstop option. That might still be the case but it’s hard not to love the gamble the Red Sox just made. Did Boston just steal Adalberto Mondesi?

I’ve been plenty critical of Chaim Bloom’s ability to turn this Red Sox team into a real winner. I’ve blasted several of his trades and have even called for his job. This trade far outweighs the last trade he made with Kansas City. Trading Andrew Benintendi for the poo poo platter that included Franchy Cordero will never leave my memory.

This time there are reasons to be optimistic about the acquisition of Mondesi.

A: Josh Taylor is a quality relief pitcher but he’s also rarely ever available. 2019 and 2021 were both healthy seasons for Taylor. 2020 and 2022, not so much. Taylor failed to make a start this past year and sported a 9.82 ERA in eight games for Boston in 2020. A lot of injuries and a lot of inconsistency.

There is a chance trading Taylor comes back to bite the Sox but the upside of Mondesi makes this trade worthwhile. Taylor, once upon a time, was a player to be named later in the Deven Marrero trade. To turn that PTBNL into a guy like Mondesi should be viewed as a win.

B: Mondesi has great qualities already. He’s a super plus runner and comes with excellent defense. The bat has more so been the issue. Regardless, even the worst case scenario here includes Boston getting a defensive upgrade and speed upgrade at the position. Mondesi, 27, carries his fair share of injury past as well. He tore his ACL in April. Both players have been frequently injured. It’s not like you’re trading spare pare for reliable part.

C: The upside here for Boston is worth the gamble. Theoretically, Mondesi should be entering his prime at age 27. He’s also a former top 50 prospect that carries all the tools to be a very good player. The bat to ball skills are an obvious red flag. Mondesi has fanned in 30.2% of his plate appearances against while carrying a 4.4% walk rate. Not great! However, this could very well be a change of scenary guy that flourishes in his new environment. The tools are there. The athletic traits are there.

Mondesi is a career .244/.280/.408 hitter in the big leagues. Mondesi is also in a contract year in the prime of his career. It’s a great chance to buy low on a prove it year for a player that needs to show he belongs at the MLB level.

It’s not a guarantee Adalberto Mondesi works out but it’s the type of gamble that makes sense with the cards the Sox currently carry. Just remember the name. It may be something that proves to be another one of those fringe roster gambles like Rob Refsnyder or John Schreiber that turns out to be a key contributor.

Side note: David Schoenfield can throw away his article now about how the Red Sox are closing in on a trade for Isiah Kiner-Falefa. A world that never existed but that’s okay. At least he tried!

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