Red Sox

McAdam: Remaining games offer chance for Red Sox to evaluate further

(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Three off-day thoughts on the Red Sox:

1 - On Tuesday, the Red Sox finally got around to making official what had seemed obvious for some time now: Andrew Benintendi isn't going to play again in 2020.

From the time Benintendi strained his ribcage during a baserunning mishap, it was known that his return would take some time. Rib, side or oblique injuries are notoriously tough to recover from, since any rotation of the torso can aggravate the spot anew. And torque is essential for nearly every baseball movement.

As the Sox provided updates, there was never any mention about picking up a bat. Only recently was Benintendi reported to have begun jogging on a treadmill. By then, a shutdown announcement was only a matter of time. Tuesday afternoon, manager Ron Roenicke provided it, as the Sox moved the outfielder from the IL to the 45-day IL, retroactively.

Roenicke reasoned that the Red Sox saw no reason to rush Benintendi back for the final month and change, and that's the correct call. He was not going to impact their record or erase the lousy from their season.

But whether he came back to make a token appearance or not, the Sox have lost more than Benintendi's season; they've also lost a chance of getting commensurate value for him in a trade this winter.

Had Benintendi had a better season and remained healthy, he would have been interesting trade bait for the Sox, used as a lure to obtain some desperately needed starting pitching. The Red Sox could go into next season with an outfield of Alex Verdugo,  Jackie Bradley Jr. re-signed at a discount, and perhaps a short-term veteran providing depth while the Sox await Jarren Duran to be ready, say, by June.

Now, however, if they trade Benintendi, they'll be doing so with his value having bottomed out. If some are cautioning that it's dangerous to evaluate players based on a 60-game season, then surely its doubly absurd to do so with two weeks of play. That's what Benintendi had in 2020.