Pitchers the Red Sox should look to acquire
The Boston Red Sox rotation has been a very hot topic amongst fans and media members everywhere. Collectively, the rotation has been average at best. No player in the rotation has an earned run average of less than 4.00, which is very surprising for a team that can afford to get the best at the position any year. General Manager, Ben Cherington, and the rest of the baseball operations decided to go with an average rotation and hope that one or two of them prove to be very good. So far, that plan has not been successful and soon the team will need to address this issue from outside of the organization. When the time comes for the team to make a trade for a top of the line pitcher, three names come to mind.
Cole Hamel’s name has come up a lot since this past offseason and one team that is constantly connected to him is the Red Sox. Hamels fits the bill as a top of the line starter and being left-handed is definitely a plus considering the only lefty in the Sox rotation is Wade Miley. Miley has had a rough start to the year for the Sox, which makes the need for a left-handed starter even greater. Reports indicated that the Red Sox and Phillies have had trade talks in the past, but the two names that constantly came up are Mookie Betts and Blake Swihart. These are two players that the Red Sox deem as untouchable and to this point have been unwilling to include them in trade packages for Hamels. Considering both players are currently with the major league club and showing signs that they belong on that level, the Red Sox will continue to hold them in high regard and not discuss them with Philadelphia. Hamels would be a major upgrade over the current talent in the Red Sox rotation, but unless the asking price goes down this trade seems very unlikely.
Johnny Cueto’s name has come up a bit as a pitcher the Red Sox might be interested in trading for as well. Cueto’s talent is undeniable and, if not for Clayton Kershaw, Cueto would be getting a lot more attention as the best pitcher in the National League. Cueto is a free agent at the end of the season and if the Reds feel that they might lose him in free agency, they should look to deal him and get back what they can. One of the major advantages of making a deal with the Reds is that they already have a talented catcher, Devin Mesoraco, so they would not want top-catching prospect Blake Swihart in a deal with the Red Sox. Cuteo being a free agent at the end of the season, should not scare off the Sox because they can afford to pay Cueto what he wants on the open market, unlike his current team.
The last pitcher that I could see the Red Sox really looking into is Jordan Zimmerman. Zimmerman is a very underrated pitcher who has had very good seasons the past few years, but is often overlooked on his own team because of the talent in the Nationals rotation. The Nationals already have Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasberg, and Gio Gonzalez in their rotation, so losing Zimmerman would not be a big blow to their team. Zimmerman, like Cueto, is a free agent at the end of the year which again shows why the team should look to trade him if they do not like their chances at resigning him. Considering the players the Nationals already have in their rotation, they might not want to pay Zimmerman what he wants and therefore should look to deal him instead.
All three of these options seem very enticing to a team with such obvious rotation issues. Given that all three will cost the Red Sox at least one very talent prospect the team should strongly consider whether or not these pitchers will be able to translate their National League success to the American League. In the end, the Red Sox need to make a move for a number one starting pitcher and any one of these three would be a great addition to the team.
Colby Gatz covers the Red Sox for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @bostonfan_15