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How Should Red Sox Fans Feel About The Tyler O’Neill Trade?

Tyler O'Neill
How should Red Sox fans feel about the Tyler O’Neill trade? Are there reasons to feel optimistic? (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

How Should Red Sox Fans Feel About The Tyler O’Neill Trade?

The Red Sox need pitching. We know that. If the Sox don’t acquire front-line pitching, the season will be a lost cause. However, Boston also needed a power right-handed bat and the Tyler O’Neill trade should be evaluated independently of whatever the Sox do on the pitching front.

Let’s look backward before we go forward. In totality, Verdugo, Robertson, and Santos are out; O’Neill, Fitts, Weissert, and Judice are in. Overall, how can you complain about that? The Red Sox reduced their payroll by about $4 million. The headache of Verdugo is gone and he’s now been replaced by a much-needed right-handed power bat. O’Neill is also a very stout defender, which should help improve their tragic defense. The Sox also added a lot of pitching depth they otherwise didn’t have.

What did the Sox really give up for O’Neill? Nick Robertson was acquired in the Kike Hernandez deal. Victor Santos was acquired in a minor league trade with the Phillies for CJ Chatham, who turned into nothing. The answer is the Sox gave up nothing here.

Look, there is a reality this pans out. John Mozeliak has whiffed on giving up on outfielders before. Randy Arozarena and Adolis Garcia both played for the Cardinals before breaking out with other teams. O’Neill could be primed to be a perfect change of scenary guy. Back in 2021, O’Neill finished 8th in MVP voting. Keeping O’Neill healthy is going to be half the battle. That guy from 2021 hasn’t been present in awhile.

Overall, smart business, but that doesn’t mean Red Sox should feel happy about it. What was the point of firing Chaim Bloom? He could have made this trade. The same way he did with Hunter Renfroe and signing Adam Duvall. What’s the difference with O’Neill? Will he even be an upgrade over those two?

The problem is Boston can’t stop here. They still need another bat in the lineup. Especially with the way O’Neill struggles to stay healthy, Boston still needs to add more firepower to the offense. This trade should resemble a smart gamble. That is all. Something Red Sox fans are pretty tired of dealing with given that is what the entire Bloom era represented.

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