The Red Sox have a couple of needs they should address before next week’s MLB trade deadline, but they’re biggest one by far is starting pitching. Their rotation has been in shambles for several weeks now, as injuries and underperformance have essentially whittled their rotation down to two or three healthy starters. Alex Cora has effectively mixed and matched openers with spot starters and long relievers where necessary, but this approach is not sustainable.
As such, Chaim Bloom’s top priority should be adding at least one frontline starting pitcher at the deadline, if not more. He’s spent years building up the farm system, and now’s the time to cash in some of those prospects to help Boston secure a playoff berth.
With that in mind, here are three starting pitchers that the Red Sox should target at the deadline to help stabilize their rotation.
3 Red Sox Trade Targets
Shohei Ohtani, SP, Los Angeles Angels
Ohtani makes sense for Boston for a couple of reasons. Not only do the Red Sox desperately need an arm like his in their rotation, but they also have the financial resources to sign him when he becomes a free agent this winter.
With one of the better farm systems in the majors, Boston has the prospects to build an enticing trade package for Ohtani. It would likely mean giving up on future franchise shortstop Marcelo Mayer, among others, but you have to give a lot to get a lot.
From an optics standpoint, the Red Sox could also really use another star to pair with Rafael Devers. Team attendance is down to its lowest levels in more than 20 years and the current front office has alienated much of its fan base by losing popular stars like Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and others. Trading for Ohtani (and signing him) would immediately make the team relevant again and signal to the fan base that ownership is still committed to winning. More importantly, it would give Boston a big boost in a historically competitive AL East.
It’s a longshot, of course, but it’s a move the Red Sox should at least consider.