Red Sox Analysis

Red Sox should target these players from likely trade deadline sellers

Boston will have no shortage of options if it looks to add talent ahead of the Aug. 1 trade deadline.

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It remains unclear how the Boston Red Sox will approach the 2023 MLB trade deadline. Will they buy? Will they sell? Or will it be a combination of both like last year?

As of Wednesday, the Red Sox are in a position to add talent that will help them make a postseason push over the final two months of the regular season. They're only 2.5 games out of the final wild card spot, and manager Alex Cora has made it clear he believes this is a club worth investing in.

If they do make some additions, they likely will come in the form of pitching reinforcements. WEEI's Rob Bradford recently reported the Red Sox are prioritizing a back-of-the-rotation starter and a seventh-inning right-handed reliever.

As Boston weighs the pros and cons of buying at the deadline, there are a number of teams either committed to selling or on the verge of waving the white flag. Here's a list of those teams, plus players from each who could fit what the Red Sox are looking for.

Chicago White Sox

Joe Kelly, RP

A Joe Kelly-Red Sox reunion makes perfect sense with Boston searching for an affordable right-handed reliever. The 2018 World Series champion has a 4.82 ERA but has a solid 1.25 WHIP and 3.23 FIP through 29 appearances this season.

Keynan Middleton, RP

Middleton is an obvious trade candidate as a free agent after this season. The righty reliever has a 2.91 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 36 games this year.

Reynaldo Lopez, RP

Another impending free agent, Lopez has a 4.50 ERA and 1.375 WHIP in 42 appearances out of the White Sox' pen. The righty is averaging a career-high 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings.

Kendall Graveman, RP

Graveman would be more expensive than the other White Sox relief options as he's under contract through 2024 and enjoying a solid season. The 32-year-old has a 3.07 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 42 outings.

Lance Lynn, SP

Lucas Giolito will be the most coveted White Sox starter on the trade market, but we don't see the Red Sox being in the mix to land him. Lynn, despite his lackluster season, is the next-best option. His 6.06 ERA is worrisome but a change of scenery could benefit a two-time All-Star who placed sixth or better in Cy Young voting each season from 2019-21.

Tim Anderson, SS

Another big name in the midst of a brutal season, Anderson would be a decent option for the Red Sox if they aren't confident that Trevor Story will hold up as an everyday shortstop when he returns from injury. Anderson is hitting just .234 but has an All-Star pedigree and four seasons with a .300+ batting average under his belt.

Detroit Tigers

Eduardo Rodriguez, SP

This reunion feels less likely than a Joe Kelly one, but it would still make sense for a Red Sox team looking for rotation help. Besides an injury that forced him to miss some time, E-Rod is enjoying the best season of his career. The 30-year-old southpaw owns a 2.70 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 13 starts.

Michael Lorenzen, SP

Lorenzen would be the more affordable Tigers starter. The veteran righty will become a free agent at the end of the season. But with a 3.75 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 16 starts, the All-Star would still be a nice addition to the back of Boston's rotation.

Jose Cisnero, RP

Cisnero would be a rental, but the right-hander would help shore up the back of Boston's bullpen. The 34-year-old has a 3.25 ERA and is averaging 10 strikeouts per nine innings through 40 appearances this season.

Alex Lange, RP

Lange is under team control through 2027, so it won't be as easy to pry him away from Detroit. It may be worth a shot though as the 27-year-old righty has a career 3.74 ERA and 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Jason Foley, RP

Foley is also under team control through 2027. The right-handed reliever has been great out of the Tigers bullpen this season, amassing a 2.23 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 40 appearances.

Kansas City Royals

Scott Barlow, RP

The Royals already traded Aroldis Chapman to the Texas Rangers, so Barlow will likely be the next Kansas City reliever on the move. The 30-year-old righty is in the midst of a down year but was rock-solid for the Royals the previous two seasons.

Oakland Athletics

JP Sears, SP

Sears is probably the only A's starter worth inquiring about. The 27-year-old left-hander is under team control through 2028 and owns a 3.99 ERA in 19 starts this season.

New York Mets

David Robertson, RP

Robertson is still getting the job done at 38 years old. The veteran righty has been one of the few bright spots for the Mets this season, posting a 2.13 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 38 appearances out of the 'pen. A Robertson-Chris Martin-Kenley Jansen trio at the back of the Red Sox bullpen would be lethal.

Carlos Carrasco, SP

While certainly not the most appealing option on this list, Carrasco fits the mold of a back-end rotation piece with decent upside. His 5.35 ERA and 1.45 WHIP won't get anyone excited, however.

Washington Nationals

Hunter Harvey, RP

Harvey is under team control through 2025. The 28-year-old right-hander has quietly put together an impressive season out of the Nats 'pen with a 3.12 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 10 SO/9 through 39 appearances.

Kyle Finnegan, RP

Like Harvey, Finnegan is a right-handed reliever who's under team control through 2025. He's 31 years old, however, and owns a 3.32 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP in 38 appearances.

Trevor Williams, SP

Williams is under contract through next season. The 31-year-old righty has a 4.42 ERA and 1.42 WHIP through 19 starts.

Chicago Cubs

Kyle Hendricks, SP

Hendricks is one of the more intriguing rental options out there for teams looking to add a dependable starter. The 33-year-old veteran has a 3.57 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 10 starts this season for the Cubs, the only organization he has played for in his 10-year career.

Drew Smyly, SP

Smyly is the more likely Cubs starter to be moved. The 34-year-old southpaw is an impending free agent and would be much cheaper than Hendricks and ace Marcus Stroman, who isn't on this list because he doesn't seem like a realistic option for Chaim Bloom and Co.

Mark Leiter Jr., RP

The nephew of former All-Star pitcher Al Leiter has turned into a pretty solid relief option for the Cubs. Leiter Jr. has a 3.49 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 38 appearances this season. He's under contract through 2026.

Michael Fulmer, RP

Fulmer signed a one-year deal with the Cubs in the offseason. The 2016 American League Rookie of the Year has a 4.46 ERA and 1.25 WHIP through 42 appearances out of the bullpen.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Rich Hill, SP

Hill expressed a desire to re-sign with the Red Sox in free agency but inked a one-year deal with Pittsburgh instead. The 43-year-old isn't the most exciting option at this point in his career, but he can still get the job done as a back-end rotation piece.

St. Louis Cardinals

Jack Flaherty, SP

Injuries and walks have haunted Flaherty over the last couple of seasons. It's safe to say the 27-year-old's days as a Cy Young contender are in the past, but there's reason to believe he could help Boston's rotation over the next couple of months. He'd be a rental.

Jordan Montgomery, SP

Montgomery seems to be the more attractive Cardinals starting pitching option. The former New York Yankees southpaw has been a bright spot for the disappointing Cards with a 3.14 ERA in 19 starts. Like Flaherty, he's set to hit the free-agent market after this season.

Jordan Hicks, RP

Another impending free agent, Hicks should intrigue Sox fans as a potential high-leverage option out of the 'pen. The right-handed fireballer struggles with his command but when he's on, he's dominant. Hicks has a 3.76 ERA with 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings this season.

Chris Stratton, RP

Stratton isn't the exciting name Hicks is, but he's a veteran arm who's in the midst of one of his best seasons. The soon-to-be 33-year-old has a 4.07 ERA, but a 1.09 WHIP and 2.82 FIP in 37 appearances out of St. Louis' bullpen.

Giovanny Gallegos, RP

Gallegos is another intriguing right-handed relief option, though he'd probably be a bit pricier given he's under contract through next season. Regardless, he's been one of the more consistent relievers over the last few seasons and is worth inquiring about ahead of the deadline.

Paul DeJong, SS

We wouldn't expect the shortstop position to be a priority with Story set to return, but it's worth noting DeJong as another option if the Red Sox opt to go that route. He's having a nice bounce-back season at the plate with 12 homers and a .735 OPS through 69 games and would be a defensive upgrade from any of the non-Story options that Boston puts at short going forward.

Colorado Rockies

Justin Lawrence, RP

Lawrence's stock probably will never be higher for Colorado. The 28-year-old righty has broken out with a 2.57 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 41 appearances out of the Rockies bullpen and is under team control through 2028.

Daniel Bard, RP

The Rockies rewarded Bard for his inspiring comeback efforts with a two-year contract extension before this season. However, they have to consider parting ways with the former Red Sox right-hander with his value so high amid another outstanding season. A return to Boston would be extremely fitting for the 38-year-old's incredible redemption story.

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