Red Sox Could Look to Diamondbacks for ‘Short-Term’ Solution at Shortstop

Kevin Newman

Getty Kevin Newman

The Boston Red Sox need to upgrade the middle of their infield and the Arizona Diamondbacks have a surplus at second and short. That could make them perfect partners for a Kevin Newman trade, as Bleacher Report’s Zachary Rymer suggests.

The Red Sox used their series win over the first-place New York Yankees over Father’s Day weekend to show that they are, indeed, postseason contenders. Heading into play on Monday, June 24 a half-game up on the Kansas City Royals for the American League’s third wild card spot, Boston is in position to chase playoff seeding, even if the Yankees are a little out of reach (9 games up).

But as Rhymer notes, the Red Sox have received a combined -0.8 bWAR and .503 OPS from their second basemen, good for worst in the league. And while Enmanuel Valdez has picked up his production at the plate, he still has a sub-100 OPS+, .211 batting average, and a below-average glove.

As for shortstop, David Hamilton has posted respectable numbers overall, but his .218 average against left-handed pitchers makes him look even better than he has been. He also has a .491 OPS against lefties and a 33 wRC+ with a strikeout rate of 31%.

Kevin Newman Fills an Immediate Need for the Red Sox

As Rhymer puts it, “it’s too much to ask that the Red Sox go all-in on a star, but a right-handed hitter with a reliable glove would be a good get for them.”

Newman fits the bill. The 30-year-old is hitting .285 over 55 games for the Diamondbacks with a .712 OPS. That only tells part of the story, however. Over his last 28 games — more than half his 2024 season — he’s batting .357 overall and .417 on balls in play.

Newman presents an overall upgrade to Valdez and Hamilton. For one thing, he can hit lefties better than Hamilton, batting .317 against southpaws with a .799 OPS.

Newman has also been a much better defender. He and Hamilton have both played most of the year at shortstop, and FanGraphs pegs Newman at 2.2 fielding runs above average, with Hamilton at -2.9. At second base, Valdez has been even worse (-3.4). Though Newman is primarily a shortstop, he has played 132 games over his seven-year career at second.

Kevin Newman Would Present Little Risk or Disruption

Jim Bowden of The Athletic reported a couple weeks ago that Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow is seeking a “short-term solution” at shortstop. Newman is on a 1-year, $850,000 deal with the Diamondbacks, making him about as short-term and low-risk as it gets.

Knowing Newman can play second or short, he gives the Red Sox some options if he performs well and the club wants to bring him back. Red Sox minor league shortstop Marcelo Mayer is the No. 11. Prospect in baseball, per, and he’s currently hitting .309 with an .855 OPS at AA Portland. While it’s possible he could see time in the majors this year, any move to shore up the infield will be made with his future in mind.

The Red Sox don’t have a great farm system – rated them middle-of-the-pack in the preseason — but they do have some Major League talent they could deal for a short-term infielder. Tyler O’Neill, Nick Pivetta, and Chris Martin could all make sense, as’s Mark Feinsand speculated over the weekend.

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