We are now two weeks away from the MLB trade deadline and as the Red Sox hold onto the AL East, it is expected that GM Dave Dombrowski will look to make a move at the deadline. It has been rumored that the Red Sox are looking for a starter, reliever, and a third baseman. However, in my opinion, the only real focus they should have is the bullpen.
The Red Sox have a lights out closer in Craig Kimbrel, who has done tremendously well for them all year. He has blown two saves recently, but honestly, it is nothing to worry about. He is 24 for 27 in save opportunities and anyone who can make Aaron Judge look like a fool is an elite pitcher. Joe Kelly has come out of NOWHERE and has been a dominant arm from the pen. He has earned the 8th inning role and has been a very reliable source for them. Both pitchers have ERAs under 1.50 and are a main reason for the Red Sox's success. Everyone else in the pen...Well let’s just say the only other reliever with a sub-3.00 ERA is Fernando Abad. And I’m sorry, but I don’t have enough confidence in him.
A reliever is frankly a must need for the Red Sox at the deadline. Teams have already started making moves for relievers, so the Red Sox need to act fast. Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson have already been moved from the A’s to the Nationals, a team who badly needed to find someone for their bullpen. A name that has been consistently thrown around in Boston is Pat Neshek of the Phillies. He’s a veteran who has bounced around the league, but his 1.21 ERA is no joke. Neshek has made himself a very promising candidate to be moved at the deadline and he is exactly the kind of relief the Red Sox need. As a dominant right handed reliever, he will fare will pitching in Boston. David Robertson of the White Sox has been another name that has come up. However, Robertson is a closer and a closer adjusting to other roles in the bullpen sometimes does not fae well.
If the Red Sox want to make a run in the postseason, they need to solidify their bullpen. Look at the last few teams to win the World Series. Last year, the Cubs acquired deadly closer Aroldis Chapman, and also had traded for relievers Joe Smith and Mike Montgomery at the deadline. These players were put alongside relievers Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr and Hector Rondon in pen and got the Cubs their rings. And in 2015, when the Royals won, they had the terrifying combination of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland. The team needs at least three solid, reliable relievers to spread the wealth, otherwise Kimbrel and Kelly are going to be burnt out by the time October comes around.
All in all, Dombrowski better be making moves. Neshek to Boston would be huge for the Red Sox. We’re into the second half of the season now, and I cannot bare to watch Matt Barnes blow the lead in the 7th inning in away games anymore. I just can’t. Forget about third base, Devin Marrero and Tzu-Wei Lin have stepped up huge and are playing well. Brock Holt seems to be on his way back too. Just keep Pablo Sandoval as far away from Fenway as possible. We don’t need the overweight, “ear infected” panda in the clubhouse.
Bring in a reliever to give Kimbrel and Kelly some help so they can take some nights off. God knows they have earned it.