By Terry Cushman – @cushmanMLB
Sox vs. Angels Series:
I would look for the Red Sox to bounce back strongly this weekend. Sale/Price/Porcello will be the starting pitchers. We play very well on the Road. I’m much more concerned about the following series in Seattle.
Third Base/Lack of Run Production:
There literally is not one single power bat on the market for third base who can provide those services. If the Red Sox want to give up Chavis/Groome they can trade for that production at first base or DH. David Ortiz would be an easy solution since he will only cost money and half the season is behind us. Or the Red Sox could try to create some Kyle Schwarber type magic with Devers, which is what I believe might actually happen.
The Market for Relievers:
This is a fairly obvious Red Sox need. The Seattle Mariners came out of nowhere yesterday to acquire David Phelps from the Marlins. The Mariners had to cough up FOUR prospects to facilitate that deal. This type of cost will basically price the Red Sox out of this market. Joe Kelly will be back within a week. Brandon Workman & Doug Fister could possibly emerge as solid late inning relievers as well. Given the fact Sale/Porcello/Price can all typically go seven innings, I would focus more on finding a power bat.
MLB Note: Justin Verlander & Sonny Gray are the two prized starting pitchers on the trading block. Theo Epstein set the market high when he acquired Jose Quintana from the White Sox. So given the fact that every single first & second place team across the league is looking to acquire an ace, the price is only going to rise. The Yankees have been connected to Sonny Gray especially, but I don’t expect them to give up another huge package. They could come away with a Cole Hamels or Yu Darvish type player in the final hours of deadline day (July 31), but I feel they are more likely to stand pat. I still view the Rays as Boston’s biggest threat.