Red Sox-Royals trade to address shortstop is on par with Yankees faith in IKF

Thomas Carannante
KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 09: Adalberto Mondesi #27 of the Kansas City Royals throws the Cleveland Guardians runner out at first during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium on April 9, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 09: Adalberto Mondesi #27 of the Kansas City Royals throws the Cleveland Guardians runner out at first during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium on April 9, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images) /
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First, the Boston Red Sox watched Xander Bogaerts leave for the San Diego Padres after botching extension talks with the fan-favorite. Then, their poor $140 million investment in Trevor Story took another hit after he underwent elbow surgery and could miss at least half of 2023.

That left Boston trying to figure out their infield alignment for Opening Day. Was it Kiké Hernández at shortstop and Christian Arroyo at second base? Uh, probably, because there aren’t any other options!

That is, until Tuesday, when the Red Sox traded for Kansas City Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, who has played in 358 career games since debuting in 2016. A former top prospect, Mondesi has never panned out due to underwhelming play and a litany of injuries.

In another series of unfortunate events for Boston, Mondesi could very well be the Opening Day starter at shortstop in what looks like the downgrade of all downgrades. For his career, he’s hitting .244 with a .687 OPS and 82 OPS+. His 1.6 dWAR and 23 Outs Above Average at shortstop offer a bit of hope, but that’s no good if he can’t stay healthy.

The Red Sox will pay the $3 million owed to him in 2023 and have dealt reliever Josh Taylor to Kansas City to complete the deal.

Red Sox trade for Adalberto Mondesi reminds Yankees fans of faith in Isiah Kiner-Falefa

Not that the Red Sox had many options, but you’d think they would have avoided a risk they couldn’t afford to take. They took one with Bogaerts when they reportedly offered him a paltry $90 million before last season. They took another when they gave Story $140 million despite well-documented elbow concerns. And now they’re taking another with Mondesi, who has played in more than 100 games just once.

And you thought the Yankees’ handling of their shortstop situation was bad! Passing on the top options in free agency two years in a row. Believing Isiah Kiner-Falefa could be a suitable stopgap option to keep the seat warm for Oswald Peraza/Anthony Volpe? Showing faith in Gleyber Torres for as long as they did?

Brian Cashman looks like a genius with his handling of the Yankees’ situation compared to how Chaim Bloom’s managed Boston’s.

The one difference here is that the Red Sox have little-to-no hope for the 2023 season, whereas the Yankees had championship aspirations for 2020-2022. But why not push the envelope for somebody like Jake Cronenworth or Ha-Seong Kim, both of whom are reportedly available via trade? Luis Arraez might’ve been a tall ask, but it wasn’t necessarily out of the question. Why not sign Jurickson Profar? Or see if the Rockies were willing to move Brendan Rodgers?

Instead, it’s Adam Duvall and Adalberto Mondesi. It’s worse than the Yankees’ faith in Aaron Hicks and IKF.

So whenever you’re looking at the Yankees situation and grow upset with some of the realities, just know it could always be worse.

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