Red Sox offseason trade with Royals is already looking awful for Boston

Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays
Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox made a trade early in spring training that was meant to bolster their young pitching depth. The exchange hasn't worked in the Red Sox's favor so far.

Boston and the Kansas City Royals swapped two pitchers on Feb. 17. The Royals received righty reliever John Schreiber and the Sox got David Sandlin, a young righty with big-league starter potential.

Schreiber has served Kansas City well in the early goings of his tenure. He posted a breakout season for the Red Sox in 2022 — he pitched to a 2.22 ERA and struck out 74 batters in 65 innings. Schreiber has been near-unhittable in a Royals uniform and he's poised to beat his 2022 numbers. And the Red Sox badly need relievers right now.

The righty has logged a 0.63 ERA in 14.1 innings this season, he's fanned 10 batters and allowed three walks. Schreiber had a zero ERA for 10 outings and he gave up his first and only earned run on April 20 against the Orioles' relentless offense.

Red Sox News: Former reliever John Schreiber dominating with the Royals

The Red Sox's prize from their exchange with the Royals hasn't had the same level of success early on. Sandlin has posted a 6.75 ERA in 10.2 innings with High-A Greenville. The 23-year-old is still recovering from his first start of the season, during which he allowed three earned runs before being pulled after 2.2 innings.

Sandlin's ERA is steadily improving, but he's allowed at least two runs in each of his three starts. Despite his tendency to give up runs, he's still striking batters out at a high clip — he's collected 14 strikeouts in his three outings.

Boston's pitching has been the story of its season, and not in the way many fans and reporters expected. The Red Sox's starters have been on a tear since the beginning of the campaign, and the bullpen isn't far behind. But if Boston held onto Schreiber, it'd be better off in the short term.

The Sox have a slew of pitchers on the injured list from both their rotation and bullpen. Josh Winckowski has temporarily been moved to the rotation from the 'pen, and Bryan Mata, Isaiah Campbell and Chris Murphy are all sidelined with injuries.

Had the Red Sox held onto Schreiber, the bullpen would've been more prepared for the surplus of injuries they've been forced to combat. Sandlin still has time to turn it around in the minors to make the trade worth it for Boston, but out of the gate, Schreiber would've served Boston well this season as the team has exceeded expectations.

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