Boston Red Sox

If Red Sox are buyers at trade deadline, here's who they could target

Plenty of starting pitchers should be available.

NBC Universal, Inc.

If the Boston Red Sox remain in the playoff hunt later this month, first-year chief baseball officer Craig Breslow and the front office will be pressured to buy at the trade deadline.

They currently sit 1.5 games back of the third American League Wild Card spot with a 43-39 record. As of Monday, FanGraphs gives them a 30.5 percent chance of clinching a postseason berth.

"Hey, let's get greedy," manager Alex Cora said of adding at the deadline on Wednesday. "There's teams ahead of us that's not playing good baseball. I know probably one of them is only for five days, but there's more out there.

"This brand of baseball, I think we can maintain how we're playing. Let's not settle for the third wild card, let's go higher and see where the season takes us."

If Boston does decide to buy, starting pitching will be a priority. It also could benefit from an addition to the middle infield, particularly a defensive upgrade at second base.

Plenty of players who should be on the trade block fall under that criteria. Here are nine options for Breslow and Co. if they're willing to spend before the July 30 deadline, something the club has been reluctant to do for the last half-decade:

Tyler Anderson, LHP - Los Angeles Angels

The Red Sox reportedly expressed interest in Anderson as a free agent after the 2022 season. The southpaw ended up signing a three-year, $39 million contract with the Angels.

Anderson's first season in Anaheim was rough as he posted a 5.43 ERA and 1.49 WHIP through 27 outings (25 starts). This year though, he has bounced back and regained some of his 2022 All-Star form. The 34-year-old has a 3.03 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 17 starts (104 innings).

Anderson wouldn't be the sexiest acquisition. He doesn't strike out many batters and in most pitching staffs, he's a mid-rotation arm at best. Still, for a Red Sox club looking for lefties who can eat innings down the stretch, he projects as an ideal fit.

Reid Detmers, LHP, Los Angeles Angels

Detmers would be the more expensive option of the two Angels pitchers on this list. The 24-year-old is under team control through 2027 and although he has struggled mightily this year, he has shown flashes of brilliance at the big-league level.

Two years ago, Detmers made a name for himself as a rookie with a no-hitter vs. the Tampa Bay Rays and an immaculate inning against the Texas Rangers. He has also enjoyed pitching against Boston, boasting a 1.95 ERA and 29 strikeouts in five appearances.

Given the Red Sox' glaring lack of young pitching talent, a Detmers deal would make plenty of sense. He's currently in Triple-A, so now is the perfect time to buy low if they believe in the former top prospect's high upside.

Erick Fedde, RHP - Chicago White Sox

The White Sox are primed for a fire sale as the worst team in the league. Fedde, who's in the midst of a breakout campaign, is a virtual lock to be among the players shipped out of South Side Chicago.

Fedde signed a two-year, $15 million deal with the White Sox last offseason after spending the 2023 campaign in Korea. Previously, he played six seasons with the Washington Nationals where he amassed a 5.41 ERA in 102 outings (88 starts).

This season, Fedde has a 3.23 ERA and 1.14 WHIP with 91 strikeouts across 17 starts (100.1 innings).

Fedde is under contract through the 2025 season. A trade for him wouldn't be a blockbuster like the next name on our list, but he would be a welcome addition to Boston's starting rotation.

Garrett Crochet, LHP - Chicago White Sox

If Craig Breslow and the Red Sox are poised to take a big swing at the deadline, Crochet should be at the top of their wish list.

Crochet is firmly in the American League Cy Young conversation with a 3.02 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP, and an MLB-best 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings through 18 starts (101.1 IP). Currently, he is expected to be the best pitcher available at this year's deadline.

Considering Boston's recent history, a deal for Crochet seems extremely unlikely. The 25-year-old will cost a pretty penny, meaning the Red Sox probably would have to part ways with one of its "Big Three" prospects -- Marcelo Mayer, Roman Anthony, or Kyle Teel -- to acquire him.

If Breslow and Co. can get a deal done without including one of those prized prospects, it's a no-brainer.

Jack Flaherty, RHP, Detroit Tigers

The Red Sox had a chance to sign Flaherty this past offseason, but the right-hander joined the Tigers on a one-year contract worth $14 million.

That deal has proven to be a bargain. Through 15 starts (89 innings), Flaherty has posted a 3.24 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 115 strikeouts and only 14 walks. He's on pace for career bests in K/9 (11.6) and BB/9 (1.4).

If the Red Sox buy at this deadline, it will likely prioritize left-handed pitching. But if the price is right for Flaherty, a fourth-place National League Cy Young finisher in 2019, they should jump at the opportunity.

Cal Quantrill, RHP - Colorado Rockies

Quantrill had a couple of rock-solid seasons with the Cleveland Guardians in 2021 and 2022. The 29-year-old's woeful 2023 campaign led to him being traded to the Rockies last offseason, a move that looks like a win in hindsight for Colorado. In 17 starts, Quantrill has a 3.78 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 95.1 innings.

Quantrill is under contract through 2025. There are more attractive options on this list, but he's perhaps the most realistic for a team reluctant to spend big.

Brendan Rodgers, 2B - Colorado Rockies

Rodgers has been a league-average bat through the first six years of his MLB career, but Colorado's former top prospect already has a Gold Glove under his belt at second base. The 27-year-old would give Boston a sizable defensive upgrade over Enmanuel Valdez.

Rodgers is hitting .279/.318/.408 with five homers and 27 RBI through 66 games this season. He's under contract through the 2025 campaign.

Luis Rengifo, UTIL - Los Angeles Angels

ESPN's Jeff Passan recently suggested Rengifo would be an ideal deadline target for the Red Sox. As an above-average hitter capable of playing all over the field, it's easy to understand the appeal.

Rengifo primarily plays second and third base but also has experience at shortstop and all three outfield spots. The 27-year-old is also enjoying a career year at the plate, hitting .317/.362/.449 with six homers and 24 RBI through 67 games.

Rengifo isn't the kind of addition that would propel the Red Sox to and through the postseason. However, pairing him with a starting pitcher -- perhaps Anderson or Detmers -- is an intriguing possibility.

Pete Alonso, 1B - New York Mets

Another potential target mentioned by Passan, Alonso is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this upcoiming winter. If the Mets slip in the NL Wild Card race over the next couple of weeks, he's going to be among the biggest names mentioned in trade rumors.

Alonso would be massive addition to the left-handed-heavy Red Sox lineup. He's been a lock for 30+ homers and a .800+ OPS through six seasons with the Mets, and it's hard not to drool over the thought of his right-handed pop at Fenway Park.

Despite Passan's speculation, a deal for Alonso seems like a long shot. Even as a rental, he'd probably be too pricey for Boston's liking. Plus, there's the question of how he'd fit onto the roster with Masataka Yoshida currently holding the designated hitter spot and first baseman Triston Casas set to return from the injured list. Yoshida has been dreadful this season, but he's in the second season of a five-year, $90 million deal.

A sizable move for a starting pitcher is more likely than a blockbuster for a big bat. That said, we can't ignore Alonso being linked to Boston by one of the game's most trusted insiders.

Contact Us