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The Red Sox traded for Drew Pomeranz

Friday’s Say Hey, Baseball includes the Red Sox’s newest pitcher, Manny Machado taking the initiative and J.A. Happ’s issues with milk.

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

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The All-Star break, the longest week of the entire summer, is over today, and trade season has officially begun. The Red Sox joined the fray in admirable style by trading for pitcher Drew Pomeranz of the Padres, and sending their own No. 4 prospect Anderson Espinoza to San Deigo in exchange. Pomeranz joins a Red Sox rotation that needs a boost. While knuckleballer Steven Wright has been a nice surprise this year and Rick Porcello has been decent, David Price has struggled, and Clay Buchholz, Eduardo Rodriguez and Joe Kelly have been pretty bad. The Red Sox may have an outstanding offense, but that can only go so far to make up for unstable pitching.

With the Red Sox’s rotation not working out exactly as they had planned it, they needed help. But as Ben Buchanan said at Over the Monster, Anderson Espinoza — who has drawn comparisons to Pedro freaking Martinez — is a high price to pay. Espinoza throws fast, and he’s progressed fast. He turned 18 this year, and until yesterday was playing with Boston’s Class-A team in the South Atlantic League where he was carrying a 1.17 ERA. But that’s also part of why Boston let him go. According to Eric Longenhagen at Fangraphs, Espinoza is at least two years away from the majors, if not more. The Red Sox need help right now, so they traded a slice of their future for some present peace of mind.

Pomeranz has been fantastic in San Diego this year. He has a 2.47 ERA over 17 starts, Matt Collins at Over the Monster argued that while Pomeranz may regress a bit with his new home being a non-Petco Park stadium, he can do that while still being good. This is the first year Pomeranz has been a dedicated starting pitcher since 2012, and looking at his numbers one thing pops out: his strikeouts are up. Not just in number (which would make sense being that he’s now pitching several innings at a time instead of just one), but his strikeouts per nine innings has jumped from 8.6 in 2015 to 10.1 this year. That’s the kind of change you like to see, though it remains to be seen if he can sustain that over the whole season. But the Red Sox are getting a good No. 2/No. 3 pitcher who is ready to go in their rotation, and if he ends up being what Boston needs to get back on track, then it was worth the high price.