Red Sox Gold Glover, Home Run Leader Listed as Trade Candidate

Tyler O'Neill

Getty Tyler O'Neill hitting a home run during an April 14 game against the Los Angeles Angels.

After coming out of the gates hot, the Boston Red Sox have plateaued, sitting just one game above .500 despite Tyler O’Neill‘s AL MVP campaign.

That campaign is on pause though, while he’s in concussion protocol. O’Neill collided with third baseman Rafael Devers in Boston’s shutout loss to the Cleveland Guardians.’s Christopher Smith reported on April 15 that the Red Sox slugger received eight stitches. Furthermore, he’ll miss the April 16 game against the Guardians.

Through 15 appearances and 48 at-bats this season the former St. Louis Cardinal is slashing .313/.459/.750 with an otherworldly 1.209 OPS. O’Neill has hit 7 home runs with 8 RBIs.

That’s the most through a player’s first 14 games with the club in team history.

So naturally, the Red Sox are going to trade him. At least, that’s the prediction of ESPN senior writer David Schoenfield.

In an April 16 column for ESPN, Schoenfield predicted Boston will be on the outside looking in, come playoffs.

“More likely is that they’re looking up at the playoff race come July 30,” Schoenfield wrote. “And decide to deal away a couple of their free agents-to-be — and, yes, we can already hear the outrage from Red Sox fans.”

He listed both pitcher Chris Martin and O’Neill as trade candidates. Regarding the latter, Schoenfield thinks consistency could see him rise to the top of a scarce hitters market.

“O’Neill is also heading into free agency and is off to a blazing start,” Schoenfield continued. “Let’s see if he can stay healthy and keep hitting, but if he does, the lack of middle-of-the-order bats available could make him one of the most sought-after position players at the deadline.”

O’Neill is on a hot streak that, if continued when he returns, may force Red Sox management to sell high.

Schoenfield isn’t the first person to suggest the possibility.

Tyler O’Neill Tabbed ‘Honorable Mention’ in Top Trade Chips

In an April 2 column for Bleacher Report, Zachary D. Rymer wrote O’Neill under the honorable mention tab of his “biggest trade chips.”

Without going into detail, he provided one argument, the slugger’s Boston timeline.

“Except for Carlson,” Rymer wrote. “Whose club control runs through 2026, everyone here is only signed through the end of this season and thus positioned to be a rental on the trade market.”

Rymer, like Schoenfield, listed Martin among the honorable mentions. And he tabbed righty Kenley Jensen as a top-10 trade chip.

Even with O’Neill sidelined, the trade to bring him to Fenway is looking like a slam dunk for the Red Sox.

Boston Winning the O’Neill Trade So Far

Through 12 games this season, O’Neill has hit 7 home runs in 61 plate appearances.

Through 13 games this season, the Cardinals have 13 home runs in 635 plate appearances.

Nick Robertson and Victor Santos, the two pitching prospects sent in exchange for O’Neill, are a combined 0-4 in Triple-A ball this season.

Boston has won nine games.

St. Louis has won eight.

This is at worst, a win-win deal.

But if O’Neill can keep pace, it will be a home run off the diamond too, hit out of the park by Craig Breslow, Chief Baseball Officer.

Maximizing a deal that trades the Red Sox’s most productive player could go either way.

Read More