Eastern Arms Race

Photo Credit: NBC Sports

by: Eric Boston @EricBoston3

Two of the top three teams in baseball are making moves to keep it that way.

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have now both acquired starting pitchers in hopes of a deep postseason push.

The most historic rivalry in sports is going to be a fun one to watch down the stretch. Baseball is always better when these two teams are battling it out. Now they appear to be engaged in a chess match with the question becoming, “who will emerge with the label of master?”

On Tuesday, the Red Sox acquired Nathan Eovaldi giving up LHP Jalen Beeks to Tampa Bay.

It will be interesting to see how the Sox use Eovaldi, especially come October. He throws hard which is something that no one can argue. His 4.26 ERA in ten starts and 57 IP does not get you excited though.

It is possible that he works at the back end of the Boston rotation during the regular season and then shifts to the bullpen for the postseason when the team can shorten their number of starters. Eovaldi as a power –arm out of the bullpen has to be an intriguing idea and perhaps a driving force behind the trade.

As a free agent after the season, a solid playoff performance showing the ability to be a dominant force out of the pen could earn Eovaldi a nice payday. Ultimately being used out of the bullpen in the playoffs could counter the rival Yankees.

A day earlier the Bombers pulled off a deal for Baltimore reliever Zach Britton.

Britton joins an already lethal New York bullpen that features Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, and David Robertson. This new ‘Murders Row’ of relief arms could carry the Yankees back to the World Series.

What the Yankees have done is made it a five-inning game for their starters. If there was one area that the team needed to address in some fashion was their rotation. By only requiring a solid five innings out of any given starter is one way to do that.

However, it appears it wasn’t enough for the Yanks.

The team is now looking to add the Blue Jays’ J.A. Happ into their starting mix. Infielder Brandon Drury and outfield prospect Billy McKinney are heading to Toronto.

While this is not the frontend starter I feel the team needs to partner with Luis Severino in order to try to match up with Boston and the Houston Astros, it is still a solid get. Happ was going to be dealt and adds an arm that can give you a solid five innings each outing.

The question now is, “will this be it for both teams?”

With the Yankees landing Happ I could see the Red Sox countering with another move of their own. While they do not really need it, a quality mid-rotation arm is never a bad thing.

Perhaps the Sox talk to the Texas Rangers about Cole Hamels?

I don’t know about you, but this trade deadline just got a lot more interesting thanks to the two teams you either love or hate. 

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