This week, we will take a look at some players that we feel Boston should acquire at the trade deadline. We'll all take a stab at a particular player we want to see playing for the Red Sox during the last two months of the season, as well as our reasons for wanting them in a Boston uni. Agree or disagree in the comments, as us authors don't even necessarily agree with each other on these players.
Another summer means, inevitably, another bout of Felix Hernandez trade rumors. While this season seems to be rather tame on that front-the Mariners are quite fond of their franchise player-it has produced some rather surprising rumblings about the rest of the Seattle rotation. In particular: Doug Fister and Jason Vargas.
Neither player is the type who's going to earn Cy Young consideration, but both have put up good numbers so far this season. Fister has a 3.18 ERA with a 3.86 xFIP, while Vargas sports 3.68 and 4.24 figures respectively.
Of the two, Fister would be the more expensive option, but also by far the better fit in Fenway. He's got groundball tendencies, particularly against right-handers, which should help to keep the ball off the wall. He's definitely no strikeout guy, but he doesn't give up free passes, and lets the Sox' strong defense do its job.
Vargas is not nearly so appropriate for Fenway as a lefty fly-ball pitcher, but is also not likely to cost nearly as much, nor kill the Sox like some of the other options in the back of the rotation.
That an out-of-contention team would try and move some quality talent for prospects shouldn't be terribly surprising. What makes the cases of Vargas and Fister interesting is that they're so cheap. Vargas is in his first season of arbitration, while Fister is still one year away from his first. Not typically the sort of thing any team is interested in trading.
In this situation, though, it's not hard to figure out their goal: to find some offense. Simply put, the Mariners are doing pretty well on pitching. They have Felix already, and Pineda is proving a star. While that certainly doesn't make for a five-man rotation, it's a solid foundation which their offense sorely lacks.
It's likely the Mariners would be interested, then, in guys like Ryan Kalish and Ryan Lavarnway. The question is: how much should the Sox be willing to pay for a guy who will be the no. 4 pitcher/insurance for the playoffs. I expect the asking price for Vargas would prove too high for what he is, since he's perfect for Safeco and not at all for Fenway.
Fister, on the other hand, might be worth the cost-and is the rare starter who seems likely to be attainable for less than a Jimenez-level package while being quality enough to be worth a decent amount. Any value they get would extend well beyond this year, too, as the Sox could either keep Fister on as a replacement for Daisuke or trade him away to someone who would value the four years of team control more than the Sox. It seems entirely likely that the Sox and Mariners could reach a reasonable deal for Fister where each side gets good value, but the question arises: what do the Sox need more? A back-end starter, or a possible replacement for David Ortiz? One of those is easily found in free agency, the other is not. On the other hand, one is much more of a sure thing, and helps the Sox now, when we know they're in a position to shoot for it all.