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Red Sox: Keep an eye on Rafael Devers, Blake Swihart at MLB trade deadline

Boston desperately needs pitching help if it wants to be a World Series contender

Could the Red Sox be dealing off Blake Swihart at the 2016 MLB trade deadline?

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While the Red Sox are enjoying a strong start to the season and will seemingly will be in the thick of the AL East race all season, things aren’t perfect at 4 Yawkey Way.

As of Monday, the Red Sox were averaging 5.74 runs per game, the most in baseball, but on the flip sidethey have a team ERA of 4.18, which is 16th in baseball. And everyone knows that pitching is what matters when it comes to winning playoff games.

As it stands now, the Red Sox have David Price at the top of the rotation, but other than that, a lot of question marks. Steven Wright has been phenomenal, but can a knuckleballer be counted on as a No. 2 starter in October? Rick Porcello was good early on but has since fizzled and no one knows for surewhat Clay Buchholz, Eduardo Rodriguez and potentially Joe Kelly are.

It’s clear the Red Sox need to make a move to bolster the top of their rotation -- and Dave Dombrowski knows it.

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“Nobody has a perfect club,” Dombrowski said Monday. “We have a good club. Nobody has a perfect club. You all have eyes on particular things you may look to do to improve your team and we’ll look to do that too.”

RELATED: MLB Power Rankings: Red Sox take a step back

Besides a starter, the Red Sox could also use another bullpen arm to make up for the loss of Carson Smith. Given their age as well as work load over recent years, Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa just cannot be depended on, which is a major reason why the Red Sox acquired Smith to get to Craig Kimbrel for the ninth.

The Red Sox will be likely able to acquire the needs they want based on who they have available to trade in their farm system. With the talent the Red Sox have both in the farm system and on the major league roster with young players, there just aren’t enough positions for everyone. Some potential names to keep an eye on at the trade deadline who could be dealt are: Rafael Devers, Michael Chavis and even Blake Swihart.

Another thing to keep in mind is there aren’t that many starting pitchers that will be available and bullpen pieces are always prized possessions around the deadline so the price is going to be high. But, given the Red Sox’ position in the standings, needs and what their current farm system looks like, expect them to make at least a couple of moves between now and July 31.

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