Five Starting Pitchers Red Sox Could Target After Max Scherzer-Dodgers Trade

There are other fish in the sea


July 29, 2021

Sorry, Red Sox fans: Max Scherzer isn’t shipping up to Boston.

The Washington Nationals reportedly traded the star pitcher, along with shortstop Trea Turner, to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night for a massive prospect haul. Scherzer was connected to multiple teams ahead Friday’s Major League Baseball trade deadline, including the Boston Red Sox.

Scherzer is great. A future Hall of Famer. But opting not to trade top prospects for a 37-year-old pitcher isn’t the end of the world.

The Red Sox, who definitely need starting pitching help, have other options available.

Here are a few of them:

José Berrios — Minnesota Twins
This would be a blockbuster trade, one that would cost Boston at least one top prospect — probably more.

We discussed it earlier this week: Berrios would be a game-changing addition for the Red Sox. When he’s on his game, he’s one of the most electric pitchers in baseball. Plus, he’s not a free agent until 2023.

A Berrios-to-Boston trade feels unlikely, but the 27-year-old has been a popular name on the rumor mill and might be on the move before Friday. Perhaps Chaim Bloom pulls off a stunner.

Kyle Hendricks — Chicago Cubs
The Cubs reportedly would prefer holding on to Hendricks, who is under team control through 2023. But they haven’t said he’s unavailable.

The veteran right-hander is a really good pitcher who occasionally is great. He posted a National League-best 2.13 ERA in 2016, when he finished third in Cy Young Award voting. This year, Hendricks is 12-4 with a 3.85 ERA.

Perhaps Chicago keeps him. But, following the Anthony Rizzo trade, and with Kris Bryant reportedly available, don’t be surprised if the Cubs enter firesale mode by Friday afternoon.

Kyle Gibson — Texas Rangers
Normally good-not-great starter, Gibson is having the finest season of his career — which should make you slightly nervous.

Still, he’s 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA this season for a bad Rangers team and would slot in as a good mid-rotation starter for the Red Sox. The 33-year-old righty will be a free agent after next season.

If the price doesn’t get out of whack, a Gibson trade would make a lot of sense for Boston.

Michael Pineda — Minnesota Twins
This would be a sneaky-good addition for the Red Sox.

Pineda, with his struggles as a New York Yankee now behind him, has turned himself into a solid mid-rotation starter. He posted a 3.38 ERA in five starts last season for the Twins, and this year is 4-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 14 starts with Minnesota.

The 32-year-old will be a free agent next offseason.

Jon Gray — Colorado Rockies
How good could he be away from Coors Field?

That long has been the question asked about Jon Gray, who has shown flashes of dominance since ascending to the big leagues in 2015 with the Colorado Rockies. His 4.47 career ERA and 1.326 WHIP aren’t pretty, but Gray is having one of his better seasons, entering play Thursday with a 3.67 ERA.

His lack of a quality third pitch remains an issue, but his raw stuff remains very good. He would be an interesting acquisition.

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