The Boston Red Sox are a great hitting team, but have been dismal on the pitching side of the ball.
Boston is one of the many clubs that are interested in acquiring a starting pitcher. Having Nathan Eovaldi down with elbow surgery was a huge blow for a team that heavily relied on him last season. The Red Sox are gaining ground on the Tampa Bay Rays, and they need a push to win games on the mound. Their arms right now are mediocre in the back half of the starting staff, so Boston needs a pitcher who is a difference maker.
Unfortunately, the Red Sox farm system is underwhelming. This leaves them out of the running for a premier name such as Madison Bumgarner. Although the lefty hasn’t pitched well this season, multiple teams will be interested with his services. For Boston, they will be looking mostly for a pitcher with a year or less of control. This will give them the opportunity to pay a lesser cost and not hurt what already is a recovering system.
There isn’t one headliner or an ace the Red Sox could get this season, as the available pitchers are mostly middle-rotation players. So who might they look to acquire?
An obvious choice (and recent buzz suggests) is Zack Wheeler, who is a free agent after the season. The draw with him would be his heater, as well his breaking ball. He hasn’t pitched well this year, but there is optimism for a turnaround in the second half with a new team. Boston shouldn’t have to give more than one or two players with potential to be an everyday contributor.
The Red Sox will look to acquire someone who will benefit from a change in scenery, such as Andrew Cashner or Mike Leake. The best rental pitcher is righty Tanner Roark, who has a 3.51 ERA. He would be the best rental to acquire, even though the Cincinnati Reds would sell high on him. Clearly, Boston has some options on the table, but the crop isn’t as great as previous years.
In order for the Red Sox to go deep into the playoffs again, they must add a starting pitcher. The club wouldn’t hurt to add a bullpen arm or two, either. With Boston heating up, the front office needs to augment their offense with a reliable starting pitcher to reduce opposing runs.