Boston Red Sox to keep monitoring trade market with Eduardo Rodriguez shut down and despite MLB season being in jeopardy

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Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez will not pitch in 2020 because of a heart condition (myocarditis) caused by coronavirus, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom announced Saturday.

Rodriguez told his teammates about his decision via Zoom earlier in the day.

Bloom said Rodriguez being shut down for 2020 doesn’t change the front office’s short-term approach both with the trade market and its view of starting pitching prospects in Pawtucket. Bloom won’t hurry any prospect to the big leagues right now.

“Even if he (Rodriguez) had been cleared on our monitoring, we knew it still would take some time to build him up because of course, he wasn’t able to do anything once the condition was discovered,” Bloom said during a Zoom conference call Saturday. “So we knew it was going to take some time either way. So in the short-term, it doesn’t change anything. Obviously, when you look out over the course of the season, it certainly makes the mountain a little higher.”

The Red Sox already were thin on starting pitching depth after ace Chris Sale underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery. Red Sox starters this season are 2-5 with a 6.21 ERA, 1.62 WHIP and .281 batting average against in eight games.

“We have been and we will continue to obviously monitor the market and make sure we’re not walking by any opportunity to upgrade our group,” Bloom said. “And also with us up and running at Pawtucket, we’re keeping a close eye on those guys as well.”

Tanner Houck, Bryan Mata and Kyle Hart are working out in Pawtucket and are potential options to start at some point this season.

The 2020 MLB season, meanwhile, is in jeopardy of being shut down as several games across the league have been canceled because of coronavirus outbreaks.

Bloom said he needs to approach the trade market as though the season will be completed.

At this point though, it’s risky for any team to trade for a player who’s eligible for free agency this coming offseason.

“I think you have to plan for a complete season,” Bloom said. “We know that is not a sure thing. Probably the biggest determent to that is every single person who is involved in this thing, how much we care for not just ourselves but each other in what we do. You have to make sure you’re taking all the precautions for this to go well but have to plan for it to go well and plan to play a whole season. How that impacts the trade landscape, I think that’s going to be different team to team. I think we’re basically just continuing with the mindset of making sure that we are having conversations, that we’re active and that we’re looking for anything that could be a positive for the organization.”

Bloom said the Red Sox still feel they can compete for a postseason spot in 2020 but they also have an eye on future seasons.

“I don’t think it’s ever either/or,” Bloom said. “There might be situations where it could be either/or. I don’t think we’re in that situation right now. We want to compete. Want to win right now. But consistent with everything I’ve said since the day I got here, as much as we want to win right now, we need to be mindful of the future. We can’t do it at the expense of everything that comes after 2020. So I think recognizing that we’re dealing with a lot more now with the virus and all the things that might impose on this season, I think we have to keep that same mindset. We certainly want to win this year but we need to make sure we’re setting ourselves up really well for the longterm.”

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