Red Sox

Red Sox reportedly looking to add two right-handed relievers ahead of trade deadline

A former Red Sox pitcher could be one of their top targets.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has some important decisions to make in the next month or so. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The Red Sox’ June surge might force chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom no choice but to be buyers ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline.

Boston is 18-4 so far in June and is in the midst of a six-game winning streak, placing it in the American League’s top wild-card spot. As the Red Sox were still below .500 through the first two months of the season, club officials believed Bloom was still unsure if he would a buyer or seller ahead of the deadline as recently as June 19, The Athletic’s Peter Gammons reported.

The Red Sox began their toughest stretch of the season on Friday against the Guardians, and if they survive it, they’ll likely be in a good spot to reach the postseason again. As Boston potentially gears up for another playoff push, it’s looking to add two right-handed relievers, according to Gammons.

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One of the top right-handed relievers who is expected to be available is Rockies reliever Daniel Bard, Gammons reported. Bard pitched for the Red Sox from 2009-13, showing promise as a reliever before his switch to becoming a starter began his downfall in Boston. After getting released by the Red Sox in 2013, Bard didn’t make it back to the majors until 2020, when the Rockies signed him.

Bard overcame the control issues that kept him out of the majors for six years, going 4-2 in 23 relief appearances with a 3.65 ERA in 24 2/3 innings pitched in 2020. Those numbers helped Bard win the NL Comeback Player of the Year and earn him the Tony Conigliaro Award.

Bard didn’t have as great of a 2021 season, going 7-8 with a 5.21 ERA in 67 relief appearances, but he’s bounced back again in 2022. The 37-year-old is 3-2 with a 1.88 ERA over 27 relief appearances with opposing hitters hitting just .141 against him this season.

David Robertson, Chris Martin, and Mychal Givens of the Cubs, plus Ian Kennedy and Mark Melancon of the Diamondbacks, are just a few of the several other right-handed relievers who have been speculated as potential players on the move ahead of the deadline

Boston’s had to use its bullpen a lot this season, especially in recent weeks as starting pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Whitlock were both placed on the injured list earlier in June. The Red Sox have used their bullpen 264 times this season, tied for the second-most in the league and only trailing the 26-48 Nationals by eight relief appearances.

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Tanner Houck, whom the Red Sox have used as their closer recently, will make Boston’s bullpen situation even more complicated as he is unvaccinated, meaning he won’t be able to play in the upcoming three-game set against Toronto. Kutter Crawford, who’s made two starts in June, is also unvaccinated and can’t pitch against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

The Red Sox should be receiving internal help with their pitching staff in July, though. Whitlock was progressing to return as early as the upcoming series against the Blue Jays, but those plans were recently scrapped. Chris Sale pitched his second rehab start on Saturday and could be just a couple of more rehab starts away from returning to the majors.

In the event the Red Sox falter against their top division rivals in July, Gammons mentioned that Bloom could look to trade slugger J.D. Martinez, who is on the final year of his contract.

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