PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 06: Tyler Anderson #31 of the Los Angeles Angels is seen in the dugout after being pulled from the game in the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during inter-league play at PNC Park on May 6, 2024 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Red Sox, after losing back-to-back games to the lowly White Sox earlier this month in a stretch of nine losses in 15 games, appeared to be ready to pack up their sun-shiney early start to the MLB season and settle back into the reality that this is not a particularly good team. But, funnily enough, Boston came back with a win the next day, took two of three from the powerhouse Phillies and Yankees, then swept the Blue Jays behind a remarkable offensive awakening.

Now, what started as a pitching-dominant early season hot string for the Red Sox has turned into a run-manufacturing midseason surge that has the team sitting at 41-36 entering Sunday’s rubber game in Cincinnati. They’re a long way from catching the Orioles or Yankees in the AL East, but the Red Sox have put themselves into the middle rung of AL wild-card contenders with Minnesota and Kansas City.

It’s late June and the Red Sox, who were hardly expected to be gangbusters this year, have something to play for—at least, for now. And with the trading deadline looming more than a month from now, one well-versed expert sees Boston as a buyer on the pitching market next month, with lefty Tyler Anderson listed as a a potential “target” by Bowden.

Red Sox ‘Would Love to Add a Left-Hander’

In an article for The Athletic titled, “MLB trade targets for each contender, plus deadline priorities for all 30 teams,” former MLB GM Jim Bowden included the Red Sox as a team looking to add to its roster before the deadline. A shortstop to replace the injured Trevor Story is the priority on the offensive side, but adding a lefty starter, especially now that Garrett Whitlock is out for the year, probably takes precedence.

Here’s what Bowden wrote about the Red Sox trade approach:

“The Red Sox are looking to acquire more starting pitching and would love to add a left-hander to their mix. They’re also looking for a short-term shortstop to play the position until Trevor Story returns next year after recovering from shoulder surgery.”

Anderson fits the bill, as would others (Jesus Luzardo or, if Boston really wanted to get crazy, Garrett Crochet). But because Anderson is a veteran with a year on his contract, he might well make the most sense.

Tyler Anderson Was an All-Star

Anderson is a very good pitcher, even at age 34. He came up with the Rockies and was forged there, for the first four years of his career, until he went to the Giants, then bounced between the Pirates and Mariners before landing with the Dodgers.

In L.A., Anderson had his best career season, going 15-5 with a 2.57 ERA and an All-Star spot. He parlayed that into a three-year, $39 million contract with the Angels, but struggled last year in the first season of that deal (6-6, 5.43 ERA).

Anderson has been much better this year, going 6-7 with a 2.48 ERA and a WHIP of 1.177. Still, with the Angels heading into a needed rebuilding program, Anderson is expected to be on the move once the trade market heats up. He leads MLB pitchers in the advanced stat, Wins Above Replacement.

The New York Post’s Jon Heyman pegged Anderson this month as the fifth-most likely player to be traded in July, writing: “Tyler Anderson, Angels SP: Believe it or not, his (4.0) WAR leads all pitchers. Taylor Ward and Carlos Estevez also could go. Chances to be dealt: Good.”

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