From Bard to Broxton: 5 Pitchers the Red Sox Could Add to Their Bullpen
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Red Sox fans: don’t let the current good fortune of the past seven games lull you into a state of blissful ignorance. Keep in mind this success came at the hands of the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox—two teams with a combined 17-26 win-loss record.
Here are five pitchers the Red Sox could add to solidify their shaky bullpen.
Bard is the fifth starter for the Red Sox and has expressed his desire to stay in that role. Although Alfredo Aceves and Junichi Tazawa seem to have settled things down in the late innings, their success came against two struggling teams (Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox).
Bard has been solid in his role this season but his talents could be better utilized to close games rather than start them. If Bard is moved to the bullpen it also makes room for Aaron Cook to slide into a starting role with Boston.
Bard has been decent this season posting a 2-2 record, with a 3.72 ERA in 19.1 innings pitched. One of his wins came out of the bullpen and his greatest value still rests in his ability to put out fires at the end of games.
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Cook has made a very strong case for himself down in Triple-A Pawtucket to get a starting nod up in Boston. He's been on fire in Pawtucket going 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA. At the very least, he could be a strong asset for Boston’s maligned bullpen.
This one feels like a no brainer. The Red Sox have to find a roster spot for Cook before his opt out date of May 1. Cook will be a strong influence on Boston’s pitching staff no matter what role he is initially given.
The best move for the Red Sox at this point would be to officially name Cook the fifth starter and place Bard back in the bullpen.
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MLB Trade Rumors recently posted Balfour was a potential trade candidate for teams seeking bullpen help. It would be interesting to see if Boston could pull off one more deal with Oakland after the Andrew Bailey deal went down in the offseason.
Balfour could be a hot commodity if Oakland is out of the pennant race by the trade deadline.
Balfour has been solid for the A's this year. He's appeared in 13 games, has six saves and a respectable 3.46 ERA. There’s no way to know for certain when Bailey will return or how effective he will be. Balfour has pitched in the AL East before and could be a perfect fit for Boston’s bullpen.
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Street finds himself pitching for the lowly San Diego Padres but has been a bright spot in the bullpen.
In eight games with the Padres he's posting a 1.13 ERA, with three saves in eight innings pitched. Those kinds of numbers combined with a team seemingly out of contention early are the perfect ingredients for trade bait.
The Red Sox pulled off a blockbuster deal for Adrian Gonzalez with San Diego last season. Unless San Diego finds a way to turn their season around fast, look for Red Sox GM Ben Cherington to reach out to the Padres about Street.
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Kansas City isn’t going anywhere this season and Broxton is a great bargaining chip.
In 7.2 innings pitched this season Broxton has three saves, seven strikeouts and a 2.35 ERA. If Broxton continues to pitch this well the asking price could be high for teams desperate for bullpen help.
Broxton to Boston is a long shot but not out of the realm of possibility. According to Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald the Red Sox had interest in Broxton during the offseason. Look for Ben Cherington to do his due diligence on Broxton as we get closer to the trade deadline.
Contributing Writer: Brian Hendrickson