Red Sox Rumors: Boston looking at José Berríos as a potential trade target

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 06: Jose Berrios #17 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Chicago White Sox on July 6, 2021 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 06: Jose Berrios #17 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Chicago White Sox on July 6, 2021 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

The Red Sox have Jose Berríos on their radar at the trade deadline

The Boston Red Sox have been eerily quite as the MLB trade deadline approaches while their division rivals are stocking up. Chaim Bloom hasn’t pulled the trigger on a deal yet but his team has been tied to several high-profile names who remain on the market. The latest potential target to surface in the rumor mill is Minnesota Twins right-hander José Berríos.

We previously heard reports that the Red Sox were among several teams chasing Max Scherzer, who seems to prefer landing with an NL West club but would consider the fist-place Red Sox. Berríos is arguably the top consolation prize for those who miss out on the three-time Cy Young award-winner. According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Boston is in the mix for both starters.

That does not mean the Red Sox will trade for both pitchers – it’s one or the other, if they manage to get either. Boston doesn’t have room in the rotation for both with Chris Sale nearing his long-awaited return from Tommy John surgery. It’s questionable as to whether or not they really need either.

Fans continue to bemoan the presence of the struggling Garrett Richards and might not be completely sold on trusting Martin Perez to start a playoff game. Those are moot points when the rotation is at full strength. Boston might only need four starters in the postseason and a staff consisting of Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez and Nick Pivetta can match what almost any contender can roll out in October.

If the Red Sox trade for a starting pitcher it’s not because they have finally given up on Richards. Their new starter would be taking the spot of Pivetta or Perez. Dealing for a mid-tier starter isn’t enough of an upgrade to warrant giving up assets.

If they have a chance to land a stud like Scherzer? That’s a no-brainer if they can pull it off without surrendering their best prospects. He can bolt in free agency after the season so there’s a limit to what Bloom would be willing to part with for Scherzer but he’s the type of pitcher who can put a team over the top.

Berríos is an interesting backup plan. He’s clearly not on the same level as Mad Max but Berríos is a two-time All-Star who is having the best year of his career despite not getting the nod to join the Midsummer Classic this season.

Berríos is setting career-best marks with a 3.48 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 3.56 FIP, and 3.74 SIERA. He limits walks (2.4 BB/9) and strikes out over a batter per inning (9.3 K/9).

While Scherzer is only a rental, Berríos remains under team control for his third year of arbitration in 2022. The extra year would make parting with prospects more palatable even if he’s not in the same elite tier as Scherzer.

Many have been wondering if the Twins will actually part with Berríos without the pressure of impending free agency forcing their hand but they appear to be more open to a deal as we get closer to the deadline.

The Red Sox have enviable rotation depth but it’s hard to imagine Richards will be back next season and Boston could decline the club option for Perez. E-Rod will also be a free-agent whose status will be a mystery in the wake of what has been an inconsistent campaign. Trading for a reliable arm who can help solidify next year’s rotation adds to the appeal of Berríos.

Next. Carlos Santana is an ideal first base upgrade. dark

Boston doesn’t necessarily need another starting pitcher but any team could use a rotation upgrade heading into the postseason. With the Rays breathing down their necks in the AL East while the Yankees and Blue Jays remain active in the trade market to prove they’re intent on staying in the hunt, the Red Sox need to do something. Berríos would be a significant addition who could help Boston fend off their division rivals and make a deep postseason run.