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MLB Rumors: Red Sox Open to Trading Xander Bogaerts, Rick Porcello, Jackie Bradley Jr.?

The Boston Red Sox have the highest payroll in Major Legue Baseball, and to shed some salary, the club could look to the trade market.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweeted a juicy rumor about Boston's willingness to trade starting pitcher Rick Porcello, shortstop Xander Bogaerts and outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. 

Here's what our own Red Sox reporter Evan Drellich wrote about these scenarios in a column last week:

"As merely hypotheticals: Extend Betts, trade Bradley for a younger outfielder. Extend Sale, flip Porcello for an arm with more years of control. Losing any key piece from '18 would be difficult - Bradley and Porcello have been huge for the Sox - but it may be better than to wait until everyone can leave on their own."

Bogaerts and Porcello are eligible to be unrestricted free agents after the 2019 season, while Bradley can reach that status after the 2020 campaign. 

Nightengale's report comes after one earlier Tuesday that said the Red Sox were "heavy on" free agent relief pitcher David Robertson. Robertson likely will not come cheap, as he is among the best relievers on the free-agent market. The Sox also need to decide what to do with closer Craig Kimbrel and reliever Joe Kelly, both of whom are free agents. Kimbrel is seeking a huge pay day, so it's hard to envision him returning to Boston.

The Red Sox seem to have several balls in the air right now as they try to re-tool their roster shortly after winning their fourth World Series championship of the century. The MLB Winter Meetings, which began Sunday in Las Vegas, is a good place to make moves or at least lay the ground work for future deals.

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