Red Sox: 2 starting pitchers Boston needs to target on the trade market, 1 to avoid

Jun 18, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lance Lynn (33) throws
Jun 18, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lance Lynn (33) throws / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
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The Boston Red Sox have some really tough decisions coming up here soon when it comes to the trade deadline. They are above .500 which is nice enough and the roster does have some things going for it, but they are still 13 games back in the brutal AL East and are three games back of a wild card spot.

On the one hand, there is an argument that Boston should consider selling at the deadline as they have a variety of guys like Adam Duvall, Chris Martin, Kenley Jansen, and (hopefully) Chris Sale as veterans who could be in demand as well as young guys like Tristan Casas could be available if teams are willing to pony up.

The flip side of this, though, is that Boston isn't a bad team right now and could realistically become contenders for a playoff spot if they get their issues in their rotation sorted out. Sure, the AL East title is probably out of reach at this point with how the Rays are playing, but snagging a wild card spot seems to be possible if things break their way and they go get some help at starting pitcher.

We'll assume for the moment that Boston does decide to be buyers at the trade deadline and in that scenario, they really need to make sure they make moves for the right pitcher(s). Here is a look at a couple arms the Red Sox should target at the trade deadline and one that they should avoid like the plague.

The Red Sox should target Eduardo Rodriguez at the trade deadline

There are going to be a number of pretty big name starting pitchers potentially available at the trade deadline this year with guys like Shane Bieber, Corbin Burnes, and Jack Flaherty already having their names batted around. However, one guy that absolutely needs to be in the Red Sox's sights is Eduardo Rodriguez from the Tigers.

Before he went down with an injury to his finger, Rodriguez was among the better pitchers in all of baseball in the first half with a 2.13 ERA in 11 starts. Assuming he can return from the injured list before the trade deadline, he is the kind of impact arm that could immediately boost Boston's chances every single time he takes the mound.

There are a couple of issues here, though. One, the Tigers may not actually sell at the trade deadline even though Rodriguez could easily opt out of his deal after the 2023 season. The AL Central is terrible so if the Tigers can get healthy in time, they could find themselves in the mix in the division race.

Another issue with Eduardo is simply cost. While Rodriguez's opt out clause and injury will suppress his value a bit, teams are already lining up to try and make a move for him. If it requires a hefty prospect package for Rodriguez as a potential rental, it may not be worth it especially if he is shaky coming back from injury.