Red Sox

MLB rumors: Red Sox aiming to add starting pitcher via trade sooner than later

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USA TODAY Sports

MLB rumors: Red Sox aiming to add starting pitcher via trade sooner than later

The Boston Red Sox need to upgrade their starting pitching, and they are hoping to address this area in the near future.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Monday an update on Boston's search for another starter before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline:

The Red Sox enter the All-Star break nine games behind the rival New York Yankees for first place in the American League East and two games behind the second wild-card playoff spot in the AL.

Starting pitching surprisingly has been a weakness for the defending World Series champs as a result of Chris Sale and Rick Porcello both struggling through the first half of the season. 

Boston's starters rank eighth of 15 AL teams with a 4.70 ERA as a group. Another quality starter would not only give the team much-needed depth, but also lessen the workload of the bullpen. The Sox 'pen has pitched a ton of innings this season and the results have not been very good (4.44 bullpen ERA and a league-high 18 blown saves).

Who could the Red Sox target on the trade market? Here's a list of notable trade candidates among starting pitchers.

Madison Bumgarner, LHP, San Francisco Giants
Marcus Stroman, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Mike Minor, LHP, Texas Rangers
Matthew Boyd, LHP, Detroit Tigers
Tanner Roark, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Jordan Lyles, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

Potential Red Sox trade targets from MLB's worst rosters>>>

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Ex-Red Sox slugger Mike Napoli joins Cubs coaching staff

Ex-Red Sox slugger Mike Napoli joins Cubs coaching staff

Yet another former member of the Boston Red Sox has joined the Chicago Cubs.

Former Sox slugger Mike Napoli has joined the Cubs as a quality assurance coach, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Napoli joins fellow 2013 World Series champion David Ross on the Cubs staff. Ross replaced Joe Maddon as Chicago's manager last month.

Ex-Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has served as Cubs president of baseball operations for the last eight years. Former Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie recently interviewed for the Cubs' bullpen coach job.

In three seasons as Boston's DH/first baseman, Napoli hit .242 with 53 home runs.

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Red Sox, Alex Cora are 'fully cooperating' with MLB's sign-stealing investigation

Red Sox, Alex Cora are 'fully cooperating' with MLB's sign-stealing investigation

The Houston Astros' sign-stealing scheme was rather elboarate, and Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora reportedly played a major role in the operation.

Cora was Houston manager A.J. Hinch's right-hand man as the Astros' bench coach in 2017, winning the World Series with the organization. So, quite frankly, it's not surprising that Cora was involved in the matter. 

Major League Baseball now is investigating the Astros organization, as well as anyone involved with the team in 2017 -- A.K.A. Cora and current New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran. Cora was interviewed Wednesday, and the Red Sox are offering the MLB "full cooperation" in the ongoing investigation, according to Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. 

According to our Red Sox Insider John Tomase, the Red Sox really only need to be concerned with the matter if Cora used some of those tactics to lead Boston to a World Series Championship in 2018, and throughout the duration of a rather upsetting 2019 season. 

It remains unknown if Cora will receive any disciplinary action from the league. 

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