Another day, another trade rumor. Over the weekend, we learned that the Red Sox were interested in a package of Martin Prado and David Phelps from the Marlins. Apparently, that is not the only National League East reliever the Red Sox may be interested in. According to a report from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Boston has sent scouts to see Pat Neshek of the Phillies.
This isn’t an overly surprising development and it’s only the first step in what would be a process for a deal to actually take place. The Red Sox are only being logical in sending scouts to see a reliever everyone knows will be available since bullpen help figures to be one of two areas the team will be looking to improve at the trade deadline. It’s not a complete given they’ll look for relief help, but if Carson Smith doesn’t make some quick and big steps forward over the next week or two, they’d be smart to look for some reinforcements.
Neshek would be an upgrade in the bullpen and he shouldn’t cost much to acquire, either. The righty is a control-oriented pitcher and will very rarely hurt you by allowing runners on via the free pass. At 38 years old, he’ll also produce a surprising number of strikeouts. Over his first 35 innings this season he has 36 strikeouts for the Phillies and is posting his highest swinging strike rate since 2014.
The downside for Neshek is that, again, he is 38 years old. Additionally, he gives up a ton of fly balls, which is a strategy that can result in a lot more damage in the American League. Of course, he does pitch in Philadelphia, so it’s not as if he doesn’t know what it’s like to pitch in a hitter’s park. Neshek is only signed through this season, so the Red Sox wouldn’t have to give up too much for the rental.