The Boston Red Sox have won five of their first nine games after the All-Star break, and that includes taking two of three games versus the New York Mets at Fenway Park over the weekend.
The Red Sox are tied with the New York Yankees for last place in the American League East, but they sit only two games out of the third and final wild card playoff spot in the AL. They also are just three games behind the second wild card berth.
With a real chance to reach the postseason, the Red Sox figure to be buyers at the MLB trade deadline, which is set for Aug. 1.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Boston sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
What exactly are the Red Sox looking to acquire before the trade deadline?
More Red Sox trade deadline coverage
"I think pitching, especially with some of the hits we've taken depth-wise -- our group has done a great job filling in those gaps," Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said Sunday on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM.
"Since starting out the season kind of shaky on the pitching front, we've really thrown the ball well now for a number of months. Hoping that continues. ... No one ever has enough pitching. You got 30 teams out there looking for pitching. It's definitely something that's on our radar screen right now ahead of the deadline."
There are a bunch of starting pitchers who could become available in the weeks leading into the trade deadline.
That list might include Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn of the White Sox, Marcus Stroman and Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs, Jordan Montgomery and Jack Flaherty of the Cardinals, Eduardo Rodriguez and Michael Lorenzen of the Tigers, as well as Paul Blackburn of the Athletics, among others.
The Red Sox have an elite offense that ranks No. 2 in the AL in batting average, No. 2 in on-base percentage and No. 3 in runs scored. The lineup doesn't need much strengthening.
The pitching definitely could use an upgrade, though. Boston's starters rank 13th out of the 15 AL teams in ERA (4.79), 11th in batting average against (.254), 13th in innings pitched (483 1/3) and 10th in strikeouts (481).
Pitching is often what makes or breaks teams in the postseason, and the Red Sox do not stack up well to their peers in the playoff race in that regard. Making a move or two to upgrade that part of the roster before the trade deadline would be the most impactful way Bloom can improve his club for the postseason chase.