Red Sox Rumors: Wild potential trade deadline targets revealed in The Athletic

Chicago White Sox v Seattle Mariners
Chicago White Sox v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow shared that he's on the lookout for a starting pitcher and temporary shortstop to bolster his ballclub.

Boston's starting pitching was excellent to begin the season and its rotation owned the best starter ERA well into May. In June, though, Red Sox pitchers, besides Tanner Houck, have allowed significantly more runs.

The Sox's infield defense has struggled since Trevor Story's season-ending injury on April 5. Boston has made the most errors in MLB and allowed a staggering 45 unearned runs through 69 games.

Jim Bowden of The Athletic named some trade candidates for the Red Sox's needs. Some of them aren't the most realistic.

MLB insider Jim Bowden named a slew of trade deadline candidates for the Red Sox

Jesús Luzardo of the Marlins and Garrett Crochet of the White Sox have been popular names in deadline predictions. Both of their ballclubs are in dire straights, and all players seem to be on the table.

Luzardo isn't having his best season — his ERA is 5.11 through 61.2 innings — but the young lefty could present a good opportunity for the Red Sox. Andrew Bailey has worked miracles on some of Boston's current pitchers and Luzardo could be no different.

Crochet is 24 years old and he's been one of Chicago's best pitchers. The lefty has logged a 3.16 ERA through 82.2 innings. He has the best fastball run value in MLB and he's posted a league-high 116 strikeouts. Crochet will likely be hotly coveted among contending teams in the hunt for starting pitching, and the odds the Red Sox end up with him are slim.

The same goes for veteran lefty Tyler Anderson. He has a 2.63 ERA through 82 innings of work, and his numbers this season rival those of his 2022 campaign, the best of his career. Anderson walks batters at a high clip, though, and he's posted 33 walks to 53 strikeouts.

The A's are shopping JP Sears, who may be a fine fit for Boston. He has a 4.02 ERA in 78.1 frames. He hasn't collected many strikeouts, but he also doesn't walk as many batters as Anderson.

Each of the hurlers Bowden listed has at least one year remaining on their contracts after 2024. Breslow's mission is to transform Boston's pitching infrastructure and any of these controllable arms could do the job if the Sox can get to them before a contender.

Boston hopes for a temporary shortstop to fix its defensive woes. Arizona's Blaze Alexander has years remaining on his contract, and since the Sox have Marcelo Mayer coming up through the farm system and Story on the sidelines, he's not the most likely choice for the job.

Bowden named Giants veteran Nick Ahmed as an option and he could suit Boston's needs better. He'll be a free agent at the end of the season, which meets the temporary nature of the Sox's job. He's batting .236/.274/.291, which isn't great, but his defense is stellar. He ranks in the 93rd percentile in outs above average, and his years of MLB experience could bring wisdom to Boston's young team.

Bowden's final option for the Red Sox is the Diamondbacks' Kevin Newman. The seven-year MLB veteran is batting .278/.309/.701 and ranks in the 86th percentile in OAA. His bat is more consistent than Ahmed's and his defense is nearly as good. Newman also has just a few months remaining on his contract and he'd fit the temporary nature of the Sox shortstop job well.

There are some contenders with the same needs as the Red Sox who may beat them to the punch, but Boston has quality trade pieces in the big-league bullpen and all through the minor leagues. If the Sox are smart, they could address their current defense issues and set up their starting pitching for the future in one of their best trade-deadline performances in recent seasons.

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