Boston Red Sox

Jun 21, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (44) bats against the Cleveland Indians during the second inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

With the MLB trade deadline less than a week away, the Red Sox rumor mill is starting to heat up. On Tuesday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported the Red Sox and Cubs have had “preliminary conversations” regarding first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

First base is arguably the biggest need for the Red Sox right now. To this point in the season, they have the lowest collective offensive production from what traditionally is an offensively-focused position.

Rizzo would be an upgrade over the current platoon system the team is using. So far this season, Rizzo is hitting .248 with 13 home runs in 90 games. Meanwhile, Red Sox first basemen have hit a combined .219.

As a rental in the last year of his current contract, Rizzo represents a more affordable option for the Red Sox, despite being one of the better players on the market. According to Passan, there isn’t expected to be much competition for the 31-year-old, with only the Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers named in his report.

A trade to Boston would be somewhat of a homecoming for Rizzo. He was originally drafted by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2007 MLB Draft, but before he reached the majors he was traded to the San Diego Padres as part of the Adrian Gonzalez deal. A year later, the Padres would flip him to the Cubs for Andrew Cashner.

The Red Sox and Cubs have for days left to figure out a deal. This year’s MLB Trade Deadline is on Friday, July 30 due to day games being played on July 31.

MORE: Potential Red Sox trade deadline targets

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at

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