BOSTON (CBS) — With the MLB trade deadline just over a week away, more potential trade targets for the Boston Red Sox are coming into focus.
While the bullpen remains the biggest area of need for Boston, the team is reportedly setting their sights on some starting pitching to help bolster their rotation. According to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, the team is showing interest in starting pitchers Cole Hamels and Dan Straily.
Hamels, a veteran southpaw, is having a down year for the Texas Rangers. The 34-year-old is just 5-8 with a 4.36 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 19 starts this season, and he’s an abysmal 1-2 with a 9.53 ERA over his last four starts. Cafardo notes that Hamels is “trying to work out some mechanical issues” at the moment, but even his struggles aren’t scaring away contenders as the July 31 deadline approaches. The New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves are also showing interest in trading for Hamels, which could make Texas’ asking price too high for Boston.
Though Hamels hasn’t been the same pitcher he was early in his career over the last few seasons, he has a lengthy postseason resume over his 13-year career. He’s 7-6 overall with a 3.48 ERA in 16 starts, earning World Series MVP honors in 2008 as he helped guide the Phillies to a title. Hamels went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in five starts for Philadelphia that postseason.
If they strike out on Hamels, the Red Sox may be able to get Straily from the Miami Marlins, though Cafardo writes that the Marlins “aren’t completely enamored” by Boston’s farm system. The 29-year-old right hander is 4-4 with a 4.02 ERA in 15 starts for Miami this season, and 41-34 with a 4.22 ERA and 1.28 WHIP throughout his seven-year career.
In addition to the two starters mentioned by Cafardo, Boston is also keep an eye on Detroit starter Mike Fiers (via ESPN’s Buster Olney), who shut out the Sox for 6.1 innings on Saturday. The 33-year-old righty is 7-6 with a 3.49 ERA for the lowly Tigers this season, and 49-53 with a 4.06 ERA for his eight-year career.
While Boston has Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello, an injury to Eduardo Rodriguez (not to mention the track records of the aforementioned three in the postseason) has created some depth concerns at the back-end of their rotation. But even if they don’t have enough in the minors to land some insurance in the starting rotation, Dave Dombrowski will leave no stone unturned as he looks to strengthen his 70-win Red Sox.