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3 big deals the Red Sox should consider

Harry How / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Just as he was this winter when he signed David Price and traded for Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has been pretty aggressive with the non-waiver trade deadline looming, sending one of his club's top prospects to San Diego for Drew Pomeranz last week, not long after trading another youngster to Arizona to bolster his bullpen.

With the deadline now less than a week away, though, and the Red Sox still two and a half games back of first place in the American League East, Dombrowski's biggest blockbuster may be still to come. At least, one rival executive thinks so.

As such, let's take a look at three big deals the Red Sox should consider:

Yoan Moncada, Andrew Benintendi, Michael Kopech, Austin Rei, and Travis Shaw for Chris Sale

On Monday, the Cubs sent four prospects to New York for two months of Aroldis Chapman's services. The acquisition cost for Sale, a top-five starter on a ludicrously team-friendly contract, will be exorbitant. That said, the Red Sox are one of just a handful of teams that A) can afford him; B) have incentive to acquire him immediately; and C) can do that without compromising their future.

Yes, Moncada looks like he could be a monster - and one could even argue the surplus value Sale will provide is mitigated by the $63 million Boston committed to a prospect that will have never pulled on a Red Sox uniform - but will that matter when the Red Sox, armed with that lineup and a one-two punch of Sale and David Price, win the World Series without giving up any of Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, and/or Jackie Bradley Jr.?

Andrew Benintendi, Blake Swihart, and Devin Marrero for Jonathan Lucroy

Conventional wisdom says teams should strive for balance in their rosters - that, for example, the Red Sox should add some more talent to the rotation to complement an already prolific offense - but, actually, Boston may be best served adding another strong hitter over a pitcher, given that offense is exponential (e.g. a five percent increase in team wOBA yields an increase in runs greater than five percent).

With Lucroy, who owns an .849 OPS in 2016, the worst hitter in Boston's lineup - which boasts a 118 wRC+ this year, nine percentage points higher than the next-best offensive team - would be Brock Holt, a league-average hitter and an All-Star a year ago. Dombrowski could start every game down the stretch and that lineup would still keep Boston in the division race.

Rafael Devers, Brian Johnson, and Trey Ball for Andrew Miller

Despite adding two of the game's top bullpen arms this winter, Boston's relief corps has been pretty shaky in 2016, managing the fifth-worst win probability added in the American League, with the third-worst inherited-runner strand rate (albeit while dealing with rampant injury problems).

With both Kimbrel and Koji Uehara on the mend, though, and Brad Ziegler now in their employ, too, Boston's bullpen could be frighteningly dominant down the stretch. Now imagine Miller - the left-hander with a 1.87 ERA 0.81 WHIP and 42.4 percent strikeout rate over the last three seasons - in the mix. Seeing as the "load up your bullpen with unhittable studs to alleviate the workload of your lousy rotation" strategy worked so well for the Kansas City Royals last year, it should work out fine for the Red Sox, too, given that their offense is almost 20 percent better, relative to league average.

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