The Red Sox are doing much better than most baseball experts expected them to before the 2016 season began. Few thought that Xander Bogaerts would be “this” good. Not many saw a twenty-nine game hitting streak coming from Jackie Bradley, Jr, and David Ortiz has made it abundantly clear that he has no intention of calling it a career without putting a huge exclamation point on his Red Sox career first.
These Red Sox can hit very well, but all that offense is being wasted on subpar and disappointing pitching. There are many reasons why the Red Sox are struggling on the mound. First of all, they pitch in the AL East, which has been a minefield for starting pitching for well over a decade now. Second, they’ve been dealing with some unfortunate injuries. Losing Carson Smith was a big blow to the bullpen. Of course, the Red Sox simply lack consistency with pitchers like David Price or Clay Bucholz.
The Red Sox are doing everything they can to fix their pitching. Julio Teheran’s name has already been seen through the rumor mill as a savior of the Red Sox starting rotation. However, now the Red Sox are getting less picky and are actively looking to trade for help with their starting and relief pitching as soon as possible.
Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald wrote over the weekend that although the trading deadline isn’t until July 31st, the Red Sox have already laid out the groundwork to trade for starting pitchers as soon as they can. The problem is we’re still more than six weeks away from the trade deadline, so not a ton of teams are willing to make crazy deals with the Red Sox.
That is especially true for the teams in the American League. Why would you give the best offense in the league pitching help? Why would you make the Red Sox even better than they already are? Needless to say, the Red Sox finding starting pitching is going to be very challenging.
However, a report from isportsweb.com has pulled out a few possibilities from the rumor mill to see if any of them will fit with the Red Sox rotation and not force them to kill their farm system.
The very first name on their report is Sonny Gray from the A’s. The Red Sox may be able to steal him because of his recent trip to the disabled list. His 2016 season was also abysmal before the disabled list gave him a chance to catch his breath. He’s young and needs to develop, and the Red Sox are aware of that. The Red Sox could have a rare opportunity to steal Gray for less than he is truly worth because of a bad year pitching in the AL West.
Sonny Gray is a possibility for the Red Sox, but it’s a toss up if the A’s management are going to give up on Gray so easily. The Twins have Ervin Santana, who could prove to be a much better option in the long term for the Red Sox. The Red Sox need an experienced pitcher that will take over games and allow the Red Sox offense to do what it does best.
Santana is similar to the James Shields idea without the huge contract for the Red Sox payroll to deal with for a few years. The best part of the Santana deal is his numbers are consistent for a middle of the rotation pitcher, and the Red Sox fanbase wouldn’t be up in the arms if he didn’t perform.
Pitching in Boston for the Red Sox is a lot of pressure, but it’s a lot easier when you’re not expected to be a top guy. Santana would be able to help hold the rotation together until Price can become the dominant pitcher he’s meant to be for the Red Sox. Sometimes all it takes is one guy to pull it all together.
In a few weeks, there will be more options for trades. The point is the Red Sox have their eyes wide open and are looking for pitching help. Ervin Santana, Sonny Gray or anyone else doesn’t need to be a savior. They only need to be consistent enough to enough on the mound, so the Red Sox don’t always have to score eight or more runs a game just to get ahead in the AL East.
[Photo by Ann Heisenfelt/AP Photos]