Ranking the 5 best starting pitchers the Red Sox should target at the trade deadline

The No. 1 need for this Boston Red Sox team is starting pitching. Any of these five arms would make this team much better.
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago White Sox
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago White Sox / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
2 of 5

4) Red Sox trade deadline target: Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman

Marcus Stroman is a pitcher Red Sox fans should be very familiar with from his days with the Blue Jays. Stroman spent six years with the Jays and was great. He's every bit as good now as he was then, if not better.

This season he has a 3.09 ERA in 21 starts and 122.1 innings of work. He's struggled a bit of late, but has still been one of the better pitchers in the National League this season.

He doesn't strikeout many and his walk rate has shot up this season from 6.3% last season and 6.9% in his career to 9.2% this season, but Stroman's ability to generate ground balls is why he's so good. Often after walking a batter he'll just get the next one to ground into a double play. He's allowed just seven home runs this season, and his 0.5 HR/9 leads the league.

The reason I have Stroman only fourth on this list is because of who he is as a pitcher and the team around him. Stroman is a big ground ball guy which would force the Red Sox, a team with poor infield defense, to make plays behind him.

The Red Sox rank dead last by a wide margin in outs above average at -43. The next closest team is the Athletics who are -13. Getting Trevor Story back could help, but who knows how good his throwing will be coming off Tommy John Surgery.

Stroman is a great pitcher that the Red Sox should be targeting, but I'm not sure how great of a fit he is pitching in front of a lousy Red Sox defense.