Blue Jays: Which AL contenders could come calling for a starting pitcher?

TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 5: Aaron Sanchez
TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 5: Aaron Sanchez /
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HOUSTON, TEXAS – MAY 24: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 24, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS – MAY 24: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 24, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox

As the Red Sox have turned their season around from an ugly first month or so, they’re now firmly back in the playoff picture where they belong.

What they may have learned through some of their early-season struggles is that they’ll need some more help if they’re going to defend their World Series title. That becomes an even bigger priority when you consider that Mookie Betts will be a free agent in a couple of years, and it doesn’t sound like he’s interested in entertaining an extension before he gets there. That means they are firmly in “win-now” mode in Boston.

I’d be surprised if the Red Sox didn’t prioritize their bullpen over their rotation, but I would argue that both areas could use some help before the stretch run. Maybe that means the Red Sox are more interested in someone like Ken Giles, but I think they could be intrigued by a starter as well.

Right now their rotation features Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, and Eduardo Rodriguez, and they continue to wait for options like Nathan Eovaldi and Brian Johnson to get healthy enough to return as well. It’s that precarious health that makes me wonder if the Red Sox won’t at least call to get the asking price on someone like Stroman. If things go south and Sale, Price, and/or Rodriguez can’t stay healthy, they could be looking for arms in general as well later in the year.

All that being said, the Red Sox don’t have a terribly strong minor league system right now, so the Blue Jays probably want to look elsewhere if they want to get the most value for their top starters like Stroman or Sanchez. There’s also the complicating factor of being in the same division, although with the Blue Jays being firmly in a rebuild I don’t know that it would matter as much as it has in years past.

Likelihood= 1/5

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