The Boston Red Sox have an important stretch ahead of them, both on and off the field.
Major League Baseball’s Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline is just weeks away, and Boston could be one team that makes a splash. The Red Sox enter the All-Star break 11 games over .500 (49-38) but still sit two games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East and have some obvious needs to address if they want to become serious title contenders.
Atop that list is starting pitching, as Boston currently is very thin at the back end of its rotation and could use another quality starter. The pitching market isn’t exactly loaded, but there’s still a solid crop out there for president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.
With that, let’s take a look at the top five trade targets the Red Sox should go after, as well as the likelihood of Boston acquiring each player.
Jose Fernandez, Starting Pitcher, Miami Marlins
As long as the Marlins are in the playoff hunt, Fernandez is pretty much a pipe dream, as the 23-year-old All-Star already is a franchise cornerstone. But it doesn’t hurt to ask, especially after David Ortiz’s recent endorsement of the Cuban hurler. The Red Sox likely would have to part with a virtually untouchable prospect — read: Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi — to land Fernandez, but the hard-throwing right-hander could take Boston to the next level.
Red Sox’s chances: Huge long shot
Julio Teheran, Starting Pitcher, Atlanta Braves
There’s a good chance Teheran is dealt from the lowly Braves, but his stellar first half could drive up his asking price. The 25-year-old right-hander sports a 2.96 ERA through 18 starts, with 108 strikeouts in 118 2/3 innings pitched, and could slot in as a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter. Again, though, the Red Sox likely would have to give up a top prospect and more to land Teheran in a shallow pitching market.
Red Sox’s chances: Unlikely
Drew Pomeranz, Starting Pitcher, San Diego Padres
Pomeranz’s stock continues to rise after his surprisingly strong first half — 2.47 ERA, 115 strikeouts in 102 innings — earned him an All-Star nod. San Diego is an obvious seller, and the 27-year-old Pomeranz has great upside as a quality left-handed starter. But the Red Sox will have stiff competition for his services, so they’ll need to determine if they can acquire him for the right price.
Red Sox’s chances: Possible but still unlikely
Sonny Gray, Starting Pitcher, Oakland Athletics
It seems like the Red Sox have been tied to trade rumors involving Gray forever. Is this the year they pull the trigger? The 26-year-old left-hander is in the midst of a down season, meaning Boston could try to buy low. A’s vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane is a shrewd negotiator, however, and wouldn’t let the Sox off the hook easy. Still, Gray would fill a huge need in Boston’s rotation, so he could be worth the cost.
Red Sox’s chances: Favorable
Rich Hill, Starting Pitcher, A’s
Hill probably is Boston’s most realistic target. A Boston-area native who spent four seasons — including the 2015 campaign — with the Red Sox, Hill is enjoying a strong season for a dismal A’s team that almost certainly will look to move him. At 36 years old, Hill is a bit of a gamble, but if Dombrowski and Co. don’t have to give up too much, the left-hander is a perfect candidate to help fill out the back end of Boston’s rotation.
Red Sox’s chances: Very favorable
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images
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