The Boston Red Sox have an incredible offense. A championship-caliber offense. But to win in the postseason, you need pitching.
The Red Sox have two aces so far, but after that, a load of inconsistency. Eduardo Rodriguez has potential, but Joe Kelly, Rick Porcello, and Clay Buchholz are too inconsistent to count on in October. With the trade deadline a little over a month away, the Red Sox need to be looking for a starting pitching and a relief pitcher to mend the loss of Carson Smith. With a loaded farm system, Boston has the assets to acquire what they need. Here are some targets Boston could be looking at.
Sonny Gray, SP: Oakland Athletics
Gray has the highest upside of any pitcher to Red Sox could acquire. The 26-year-old has a 2.13 ERA in June after struggling heavily in April and May. Gray would step in as the number three starter behind David Price and Steven Wright. Gray has the talent that could help carry the Red Sox starting pitching into the playoffs. While Gray would be the best-case scenario, he would cost a pretty penny.
The Red Sox would surely have to part with a few of their top five prospects in a package for Gray. Those prospects are infielder Yoan Moncada, pitcher Anderson Espinoza, infielder Rafael Devers, outfielder Andrew Benintendi, and newly drafted high-school phenom Jason Groome. It is unknown whether the Red Sox would be willing to unload any of these prospects, but if they are, the Athletics should be the first team they call.
Julio Teheran, SP: Atlanta Braves
Although not quite the pitcher Sonny Gray is, Julio Teheran is a darn good pitcher. The 25-year-old righty has compiled a 2.85 ERA in 82 innings this season, and is starting to live up to his high potential. Teheran would certainly help bolster a Red Sox rotation that ranks in the lower third of the American League. That is not ideal for a team that has World Series aspirations.
Teheran would cost the Red Sox a few of their top ten prospects, and could require giving up one or some of the top five. Teheran is signed through 2019, which makes him more attractive. The Red Sox would certainly be fools not to at least contact the Braves in hopes of beefing up their starting rotation.
Carlos Gonzalez, OF: Colorado Rockies
After Blake Swihart went down with a severe ankle sprain, the Red Sox gained a need for a left-handed hitting outfielder. Carlos Gonzalez has an injury history and a large contract. Those are the negatives. The positives would include acquiring a strong bat that hit .271 with 40 home runs last season. Gonzalez would join Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts in what would be one of the best outfield groups in the game. Gonzalez has been shopped nearly every year by the Rockies, but this is the year the Red Sox should try to make a deal happen. Just imagine the lethal Red Sox lineup with the addition of CarGo. That would be a scary sight for AL East pitchers.
Fernando Rodney, RP: San Diego Padres
The Boston bullpen needs one more reliable arm after the loss of Carson Smith. Matt Barnes has been solid, but Rodney would be a strong impact move for the Red Sox. The 39-year-old pitcher has yet to allow an earned run though 22 appearances. Adding Rodney would allow the Red Sox to use Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara, and Rodney before getting to close Craig Kimbrel.
Fernando Rodney would be a low-cost, high-reward pickup for Boston. The Red Sox likely wouldn't have to give up too much for the veteran pitcher, which makes the move more attractive. Rodney has playoff experience, he's a veteran, and he could help the Red Sox win their fourth World Series since 2004.