As we inch closer to July, expect the Red Sox trade rumor mill to crank up. The first whisper comes courtesy of Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan, who wrote this week that the Red Sox “have quietly sent some of their most respected evaluators to Sonny Gray’s last two starts.”
Gray, the 27-year-old righty of the Oakland A’s, has been linked to the Sox for several years.
“This could fall under standard due diligence, but one source familiar with their intentions said the Red Sox are keen for Gray – and when president Dave Dombrowski targets a player, the price for other teams jumps accordingly.”
Gray projected as one of the better young pitchers in baseball a few years back as he had a 2.73 season ERA and a 14-7 record in 2015. But last year, Gray went just 5-11 with a 5.69 ERA and this year he owns a 4.45 ERA with a 3-3 record.
Red Sox on tap
The Red Sox started the week tied with the Yankees for first place in the AL East, and they’ve shown signs that they’re title contenders during the month of June. Despite all the good will and all of the “Are the Sox about to get hot?” stories, though, the Sox are just 12-11 this month. For every giant step forward (winning two of three at Houston), there are significant steps backwards (losing two of three at Kansas City and two of three at home to the Angels).
The Sox have a four-game set against the AL Central leading Minnesota Twins (39-34) this week before facing division rival Toronto in Canada, starting on Friday.
Drew Pomeranz (6-4, 4.07 ERA) will get the ball for the Sox on Tuesday. The Twins will counter with Hector Santiago (4-6, 5.26 ERA).
Rick Porcello (4-9, 5.00 ERA) will toe the mound for the Sox on Wednesday against Minnesota. Porcello bounced back from an ugly 7-1 loss to the Astros on June 17 with a victory over the Angels last Friday night at Fenway. In that game, Porcello allowed three earned runs on eight hits while striking out eight.
“It’s always hard to come back in four days and completely correct what you’re trying to correct, but [Friday] was definitely a step in the right direction,” Porcello told WEEI. “Most important was to get out there and compete and stop thinking about all that crap and just go out there and execute pitches.”