Two games out of a wild card spot at the break and it’s looking like the Boston Red Sox could end up as trade deadline buyers. How could they not? The New York Yankees keep hitting themselves. The Boston offense is way too good and pitchers like Brayan Bello have stepped up in a way where it’s hard to be passive about what this year’s club can do.
The trouble for the Red Sox is their starting pitching staff is decimated with injuries. Even while healthy, Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, and others weren’t so spectacular. It’s only the productive at-bats which have helped to keep them alive.
There are a couple of ways the Red Sox could approach the trade deadline. One unique twist could be to get in touch with some of the other contenders and talk about swapping an outfielder for a starting pitcher. Three teams either positioned or near a playoff spot have enough starting pitching to spare yet have a major need for an offensive boost. The Red Sox, with Jarren Duran playing so well, now have some excess with Adam Duvall on the roster. Whether it’s Duvall or even Alex Verdugo they trade away, it’s worth calling up these three contenders to see if there’s any interest in helping each other out.
1) Red Sox should call the Padres about a win-now trade for both teams
As much as the Cleveland Guardians might be a theoretical fit, they cannot afford to subtract much from their starting rotation right now. The same is true for the Miami Marlins. Even the Seattle Mariners could qualify for this billing.
One of the first teams the Red Sox should call up about a win-now trade for both teams are the San Diego Padres. Although looking up with binoculars at the NL Wild Card, their stacked roster has enough talent to take off in the second half of the season. A trade with the Red Sox which sends one of their starting pitchers to Boston for an offensive upgrade is something to consider.
The pitchers immediately off the table for the Padres would be Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Joe Musgrove. The latter have contract extensions while Snell has been one of their better arms. Michael Wacha, who the Red Sox clearly should’ve brought back, is now on the IL but the owner of an 8-2 record and 2.84 ERA on the year. He’s definitely someone to look at reuniting with as long as he’s healthy before the trade deadline.
The other two names worth consideration are Seth Lugo and swingman Nick Martinez. Martinez has pitched mostly out of the bullpen for the Padres this year with Lugo transitioning from a reliever with the New York Mets to a starter with San Diego this year.
In this hypothetical trade, we’d be looking to send Duvall to the Padres to upgrade over center fielder Trent Grisham and provide them with more depth, even at the DH spot. Whether it’s Wacha or Lugo the Red Sox seek out, it would probably cost them more than Duvall. Verdugo feels like a little much but it’s probably what it would take unless we start getting other players involved.
We’ll let Chaim Bloom and A.J. Preller work out the details.