4 starting pitchers (2 from a rival) the Red Sox should target this trade deadline

San Francisco Giants v Boston Red Sox
San Francisco Giants v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

The MLB trade deadline is only a few short weeks away and the Boston Red Sox once again have sneakily found themselves in a position to be buyers. Although the rotation has surprised many to this point, there might be some upgrades that have to be made in the event of a potential playoff push.

Though it seems ownership might not be in lock-step with the front office or the roster on the field, it would be bad business to neglect a team that's making a legitimate playoff push.

At the present moment, the Red Sox's biggest need — like most other teams — is pitching, with an emphasis on the starting rotation.

4 starting pitchers (2 from a rival) the Red Sox should target this trade deadline

Cal Quantrill

It's hard to be a Colorado Rockies pitcher and be successful in this day and age, but Cal Quantrill has figured out how to do it in the first half of 2024. The 29-year-old right-hander has managed to notch six wins on the year with a 3.50 ERA and an adjusted 132 ERA+, which ranks 22nd in baseball among qualifiers.

Despite pitching a portion of his games in the high altitude of Colorado, Quantrill has pitched to a 47.3% ground ball rate (70th percentile) and 5.5% barrel rate (79th percentile) while posting a breaking ball run value of three (79th percentile) and an off-speed run value of 15 (100th percentile), according to Baseball Savant.

It's also worth noting that he has excelled away from Coors Field this season. The ERA in the high altitude this year is up at 4.05. Once he's gotten out of there, that ERA has plummeted nearly a full point to 3.06. When he's not in Colorado, he is pitching at an All-Star level.

Finally, he is a guy who can give a team like the Red Sox length in their rotation. He threw 149.2 innings in 2021 and 186.1 innings in 2022 before only throwing 99 in 2023 thanks to injury. He's currently on pace to get near the 200 innings mark if all goes well. Considering what the Sox have had to go through this year with injuries to their starting rotation, Cal Quantrill presents them with a stable veteran option to give them innings, who also shouldn't cost too much in terms of trade capital.

If the Red Sox intend on remaining "low key" with their moves like they've been doing, Quantrill fits directly into that mold of an under-the-radar pitcher who can give the Sox a lot of bang for their buck.

Chris Bassitt

Bassitt's overall numbers on the season have continued to even out as the weeks have progressed. He started out very rough, but over the past month or so, he has lowered his ERA on the year to 3.45 and his FIP to 3.85.

Bassitt has averaged about 180 innings a year over the past three seasons and he's posted 25+ starts in four of the previous five years.

Here we have another veteran starter who reliably posts every fifth day and gives his team a chance to win every time he's out there. And to top it off, away from Rogers Centre this year Bassitt has pitched to a 2.95 ERA across 46 innings of work as opposed to a 4.00+ ERA at home.

This is a very strong pitcher possibly on the trade market this season, thanks to the Blue Jays' surprising struggles. He's controllable through 2025 ($22 million salary), so the team might be amenable to trading him within the division.

Kevin Gausman

Gausman has been around the AL East for a long time, first coming up with the Orioles and now with the Blue Jays. There's probably been a few times the Red Sox could've gotten their hands on him in the past, but this trade deadline might be the most opportune with the need at starting pitcher and the underperformance of the Jays this season.

The Sox just saw him twice in the past week. One game was a raging success while Tuesday's affair was a tougher matchup. Red Sox fans may look at Gausman's numbers on the year (6-6, 4.26 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 8.7 K/9, 3.89 FIP) and scoff, but he would be a fantastic addition to this rotation.

Like the other guys already mentioned, Gausman has been pitching very well on the road this season. At Rogers Centre, he's pitched to a shocking 6.43 ERA across 42 innings. But in the United States, he's pitched to a 2.22 ERA across 44.2 innings.

What sets him apart from the other guys is the fact that year after year he has been a very good FIP guy. From 2020-2023, Gausman posted an FIP of 3.09 or better in each season. Two of those seasons were in San Francisco with Andrew Bailey.

Gausman has consistently been one of the best in baseball at pitching around his fielders for the past four years. Considering how the Red Sox tend to kick the ball around, it might not be the worst idea to bring in a guy who can keep the game closer to his chest.

Jack Flaherty

It's a great match considering bringing Flaherty on board would reunite him with his high school buddy in Lucas Giolito. It's an even greater match considering how well the 28-year-old has pitched this season.

Jack Flaherty should find himself on the AL All-Star team this July after pitching to a 2.92 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 11.7 K/9, 1.4 BB/9, 143 ERA+, and 2.70 FIP so far in 2024. It's quite the turnaround from his rocky handful of seasons between 2020 and 2023.

Away from Comerica Park this season, he is 4-1 with a 2.17 ERA and 0.83 WHIP across 45.2 innings, so he fits right in with the rest of the guys on this list as great pitchers away from their current home ballpark.

There may be concern with Flaherty's sustainability; something the other three didn't have too much of an issue with. But the ceiling the Tigers right-hander presents on an expiring deal might just be worth it. The Red Sox would be in some serious business if they added a pitcher like Flaherty and the season he's having to the rotation.