The Boston Red Sox are on the fringe of contention and reportedly have identified three areas of need to put them over the edge, two of which have been known for a while.
The Red Sox have been seeking a backend starter to upgrade their unfilled and injury-riddled rotation as well as a right-handed reliever to balance out the bullpen. Now we are learning of another area they are looking for, one that makes a lot of sense.
“During a conversation on my SiriusXM show on Sunday, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told me that he’s looking for a starting pitcher at the deadline, even though they hope Chris Sale, Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock will all return from the injured list soon. Boston also would like to add a left-handed-hitting middle infielder to better balance its righty-heavy bench,” The Athletic’s Jim Bowden revealed Tuesday.
The latter information is highly intriguing, especially since they seemingly aren’t going to use the return of Trevor Story as an excuse to not bolster the position any further.
The Red Sox currently have Kiké Hernández, Christian Arroyo, Pablo Reyes and Yu Chang up the middle. With Brayan Bello and John Schreiber’s returns, one of those versatile defenders could be gone any minute now.
None of them would be considered to be above replacement level, and Boston would relatively easily be able to find an upgrade on the trade market.
Oakland Athletic’s Tony Kemp is a budget option that has been tossed around as a fit but he’s no better than the names mentioned prior.
If the Red Sox really want to make a splash, Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India would do the trick while Chicago White Sox’s Tim Anderson is a rising option as well amid a hot stretch.
If Bloom does go out and get an impact middle infielder, a backend starter and a league-average or better reliever, the Red Sox with the impending additions of Sale, Whitlock, Houck and Story could truly be contenders.