The Boston Red Sox have leaped into third place in the AL East and they could be buyers before the trade deadline.
The Boston Red Sox had an awful start to the season as they were in last place in the AL East in the middle of May and were 23-27 entering the month of June. But they went 30-12 from May 16 through the end of June to get themselves into third place and, likely, to make them buyers at the trade deadline.
There are a few areas of weakness that they need to strengthen their playoff chances and they could look at some divisional rivals to address them.
Boston Red Sox: 3 division rival trade targets
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Wisler
The Tampa Bay Rays are very much still in playoff contention as they are just two games behind the Red Sox in the AL East and they would make the playoffs with the third and final AL Wild Card spot if the season were to end today.
Matt Wisler is a free agent at the end of the season so, despite being in the playoff hunt, the Tampa Bay Rays could look to trade him. If they acquired him, the Boston Red Sox could use him as a middle or long reliever. Their bullpen has an ERA of 3.79, which is 14th in baseball so while it’s not terrible by any stretch, there’s definitely some room for improvement.
In 2022 for the Rays, Wisler has made 32 appearances (4 starts as an “opener”) and he has a 2.75 ERA. He has a 1.139 WHIP and an average of 3.3 walks and 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings. The only concerning number that he has in 2022 is his home run rate, as he has allowed 1.5 home runs per nine innings.
In 2021, between the Giants and Rays, Matt Wisler appeared in 48 games and had an ERA of 3.70 and a 1.068 WHIP.