Surging Red Sox Starter Tabbed Among Top MLB ‘Trade Chips’

Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta

Getty Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta

It could yet be a long slog for Red Sox fans, a situation that has gotten uncomfortably typical around Boston in recent seasons. But in the first turn through the full five-man pitching rotation, there is at least something to be very excited about, even if it is early April: The starters were fantastic. So, of course, over at Bleacher Report, the notion is that the Red Sox should really consider trading one of them—veteran righty Nick Pivetta being the target.

Can we not just enjoy this for a week, maybe two?

Pivetta was outstanding in his lone start this season, going six innings with three hits allowed, no walks and an impressive 10 strikeouts. He allowed a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Mariners last Friday, and allowed no other scoring, but the Sox lost, 1-0.

That is the lone loss the Red Sox starters have suffered, as they stand a combined 3-1 with a 1.29 ERA in 28.0 innings, recording a 0.643 WHIP and notching 37 strikeouts against one walk. Yeah, 28 innings into their 2024, the Red Sox starters have walked one batter. Maybe let’s not go trading them just yet.

Nick Pivetta an ‘Honorable Mention’ Among Top Trade Chips

In an article titled, “The 10 Best MLB Trade Chips For 2024 Season,” Pivetta was not listed among the top potential trade chips for this year, but was an honorable mention. Perhaps he should have made the list considering how he has looked lately.

As analyst Zachary Rymer wrote, the list of quality starters who could be available on the trade market this offseason is not a long one: “This is generally an unspectacular group, but the guy worth keeping an eye on is Pivetta.

“He whiffed 183 batters in 142.2 innings last season and picked up right where he left off with 10 strikeouts in his 2024 debut. He now has a 2.23 ERA in six starts since moving into Boston’s rotation last September.”

Of course, the Red Sox might well want to hold onto Pivetta for a while if he keeps pitching like that. He is 31 and has struggled with consistency in his time with the Red Sox, but he has managed to make 30-plus starts in both 2021 and 2022 before Boston experimented with him in the bullpen last year, where he was stellar before moving back into the rotation late in the year.

Red Sox Keeping Pivetta in the Rotation

Pivetta entered this season determined to stay in the rotation, and added a sweeping breaking ball to his repertoire to boost his chances. Manager Alex Cora, though, has given no thought to having Pivetta return to the bullpen.

In the offseason, Pivetta said he could utilize what happened last year to help him get back to form this year.

“Going through last year, there’s a lot of facets of the game and to help a team compete and win,” Pivetta said. “That’s my biggest goal, whatever it happens to be. Everybody knows I prefer to start. I prefer to win, at the end of the day.”

And it helps that he is entering free agency. He will make $7.5 million this year and could be in line for a sizable raise if he keeps building on his early success. It would be good timing.

“It’s time for me to be the player I know I can be and everyone expects me to be,” Pivetta said.

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