One Week From The Highly Anticipated Trade Deadline

We are officially one week away from the highly anticipated trade deadline. Will the Red Sox be buyers, or sellers? Who will stay, and who will go to another team? Those answers will hopefully come in the next week.

Unlike in years past, Major League Baseball has decided to have one and only one tradeHighly Anticipated Trade Deadline deadline. There’s no more waiver trades like there were in the past. What happens between now and July 31st for the Red Sox is very crucial, and determines their fate in the American League.

Right now, they took 2 out of 3 from the Rays in Tampa Bay, allowing them to be one game back of the Rays. However, do they have what it takes to continue the uphill battle? Will they add a new member to the bullpen, or to the line up? Only time will tell, and the clock is ticking away.

From the Rotation to the Bullpen

On July 13th, Dave Dombrowski’s journey to help the Red Sox’s pitching problems began. Dombrowski proceeded to trade for Baltimore Orioles starter, Andrew Cashner for cash, and two minor leaguers. This seemed like a good trade at the time, as Cashner has been a consistent starting pitcher for the Orioles, with a record of 9-3. Since then, Cashner hasn’t been living up to the hype so to speak. In two starts for Boston, Cashner is 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA. He has pitched 11 innings, allowing 14 hits and 10 runs. Of those, 4 have been home runs.

With one piece to the puzzle solved so to speak, it’s hard not to look at the bullpen and their struggles this season. Again, with the highly anticipated trade deadline looming in the distance, the Red Sox have been linked to some names that could hopefully save them.

One player in particular is Kirby Yates. The current San Diego Padre has also pitched for the Yankees, Rays and LA Angels. Yates was named to his first All Star game this July, and has been an effective closer for the Padres. The 32 year old righty has a 1.05 ERA in 41 games this season.

Another player that has been linked to Boston is a member of the San Francisco Giants. No, it’s not Madison Bumgarner, it’s Will Smith. Again, not the actor, the relief pitcher. In 44 games for the Giants, he has a record of 3-0, with a 2.44 ERA. Smith has also pitched for the Kansas City Royals, and Milwaukee Brewers in his career. The 30 year old lefty would be a great fit for the Boston bullpen. Smith was also named to his first All Star game this season, and won the Willie Mac Award in 2018.

The Highly Anticipated Trade Deadline Awaits Boston

The main focus for Boston this upcoming deadline is pitching, mainly the bullpen. With the addition of Andrew Cashner, and Nathan Eovaldi coming off of the injured list, the Red Sox look prepared for the next few months of the season. However, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. For instance, can the lineup stay hot enough to keep the ball rolling to October? Can the rotation kick it up a notch to win games and keep the bullpen well rested? There are so many questions and such little time.

Unfortunately for Boston, one name that they were linked to, New York Mets starting pitcher, Zack Wheeler, is on the injured list until at least Friday. the 29 year old right hander is 6-6 on the season in 19 starts. Granted, his ERA is 4.69, but Wheeler is still a promising up and comer since making his debut in 2013.

Like most trades, many prospects can be moved. For Boston in this highly anticipated trade deadline, it’ll be interesting to see who gets traded from the farm, or from the big league club itself. I doubt Dombrowski would trade away the future, especially Tristan Casas or Bobby Dalbec. If the Red Sox can find some form of consistency, then next Wednesday’s deadline will be something to look forward to.

Red Sox trade targets to look out for

A seemingly taxed bullpen and what’s been a thin starting rotation for a while now are problems forcing the Red Sox into considering outside options for their pitching staff. With Alex Cora confirming that Nathan Eovaldi will assume the closer role upon returning from the Injured List, a spot will remain open in the rotation. Red Sox trade targets have generally been bullpen arms the last few years, but that tune might be changing in 2019.

With a largely competitive field of teams still vying for wild card contention, the market is aRed Sox trade targets bit thinner than it has been in recent seasons. That being said, there are indeed arms that are reportedly being shopped, as sellers like the Mets, Blue Jays, and others will be looking to unload and rebuild.

If the plan for the Sox is to add a man in the rotation, there are some options on the market that might come a bit cheaper than relievers with multiple years before free agency. Let’s take a look at who some of these Red Sox trade targets might be.

RHP Zack Wheeler, New York Mets

Ken Rosenthal recently reported that the Red Sox were spotted scouting a recent start of Wheeler’s (and Matthew Boyd’s). With the Mets coming undone in another lost season, a move would make sense. While the ERA is an unimpressive 4.69, Wheeler has been able to eat up innings in New York. He has managed to work 6.0+ IP in 15 of his 19 starts, including 7.0+ IP in 9 of those starts. He has worked fewer than five innings just a pair of times, going 4.2 in each. For a Red Sox team starved for an innings eater, a low-cost soon-to-be free agent represents an excellent fit.

LHP Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers

Boyd has put together a career year, posting a very solid 3.87 ERA through 18 starts. He’s been the best pitcher on a poor Tigers team, but has done well in a division that features a number of solid teams like the juggernaut Twins, competitive Indians, and rising White Sox. There are two concerns, however: for one thing, he is still a few years away from free agency. With how much clubs value team control these days, Boyd will come at a high price. Not just that, but after being one of the AL’s best through mid-June, Boyd has regressed a bit. The southpaw has allowed 4 or 5 ER in each of his last 4 starts, after allowing more than 4 ER just twice through his first 14. Boyd would make another quality addition, but the fit might not be as strong.

RHP Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays

Red Sox fans might not jump all over this idea. But Stroman is having an excellent season, has always proven a tough out, and brings a swagger to the mound, which makes him a Red Sox trade target. A swagger that might energize the group. Stroman is one of the league’s best at producing high ground ball rates. In two starts against Boston this season, Stroman has allowed just 1 ER over 11 IP. His 3.18 ERA would automatically be the lowest among fellow Sox starting pitchers. What makes this deal difficult is that Toronto won’t trade a key player to a divisional rival for nothing. Like with Boyd, the Red Sox might be priced out of their comfort zone.