The other Rangers and an Angel.
Jake Diekman – TEX
If the Texas Rangers are hitting the reset button then Jake Diekman is one of the pieces they should be shopping. The 31-year-old lefty is a free agent at the end of the season and would add some balance to a heavily right handed pen in Boston. Diekman’s ERA of 3.89 could be due for a little regression. His FIP is 3.59. Of course his xFIP is 4.31 and his BB/9 is a whopping 5.59. But he strikes out more than 10 batters per nine innings pitched and has a reverse split, holding RHB to a .271 wOBA. That would make him an intriguing weapon against the New York Yankees. And given the fact that he is a rental with warts, the cost shouldn’t be too high. He wouldn’t top my wish list, but the Red Sox could do worse at the deadline.
Jim Johnson – LAA
The Los Angeles Angels are 14 games out of the West and 9 back of a Wild Card spot. They should be selling despite getting off to an unexpectedly hot start. That means selling off any rental they can, and that means Jim Johnson. Johnson is having a solid year out of the pen, posting a 3.52 ERA in front of a 3.89 FIP and a 4.01 xFIP. He strikes out 7.75 per nine, but was up over a batter per inning the previous two seasons. His walk rate fluctuates, but is at a respectable 3.29 per nine this season. And perhaps more importantly, he is a weapon against righties. For the year he has allowed just a .242 wOBA against them. The cost should be low so this could be a sneaky good get if that’s what Dombrowski ends up with.
Could the National League East hold the answer?
Kyle Barraclough – MIA
This isn’t the first time Kyle Barraclough’s name has come up in Red Sox trade speculation. But it bears repeating here. Barraclough, and the next name on the list are both cost controlled and will cost a bit extra. While the next entry isn’t even arbitration eligible yet, Barraclough is starting this winter and the penny pinching Marlins may be willing to move him for a decent package. With nifty 2.41 ERA and a 10.20 K/9, the Marlins current closer would bring a skillset similar to Matt Barnes to the table, giving Alex Cora the ability to ride the hot hand at any given moment. A 4.80 BB/9 is concerning, but the years of control could outweigh it. Barraclough has been equally as effective against left and right handed hitters this season.
Drew Steckenrider – MIA
The other Marlins reliever on this list has been part of a recent rumor, and while it appears the price is currently too high, that could change by the deadline. Steckenrider is not yet arbitration eligible, making him even more valuable than Barraclough. Additionally, he sports a 3.40 ERA with a 2.94 FIP and a 3.97 xFIP. The results he gets from his 10.20 K/9 are mitigated slightly by a 4.00 BB/9, but the overall package is an encouraging one. He would give the Red Sox another late inning weapon to mix with Barnes and Eovaldi for the playoffs. And like several previous entries on this list, he keeps right handed batters from doing much damage with a .225 wOBA against.