As the Red Sox look towards 2020 and beyond one area, they will need to improve is pitching. The Red Sox pitching staff finished 2020 with a 5.58 ERA and allowed 98 home runs. The Red Sox will, however, get reinforcements next season in the form of Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez. While their returns will be a welcomed sign, neither has appeared in an MLB game in over a year. As Chaim Bloom looks to improve the rotation, one possible fit could be Pirates lefty, Steven Brault.
In 2020 Brault went 1-3 with a career-low 3.38 ERA. In 11 games, 10 of which were starts, he held opponents to a .195 average and only allowed five home runs. The former 11th round pick also threw his first complete game and allowed one run over his last 15 innings of work. After bouncing between the bullpen and rotation in previous seasons, Brault had his best run as a starter in 2020.
Steven Brault, 94mph Paint. 🖌️🖼️🎨 pic.twitter.com/MRfdRLsQeL
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 17, 2019
What Brault Would Bring To Boston
Additionally, Brault will not be a free agent until after the 2023 season. Throughout his career, Brault has struggled with his control but took a step forward last season. In 42.2 innings of work, he walked a career-low 22 batters. As the Pirates endured one of their worst seasons in franchise history, Brault was a bright spot and could be one of their most valuable trade chips.
Acquiring the Pirates lefty, however, would not come cheap. The Pirates are in a rebuilding mood and would most likely require two prospects for Brault, who was arguably their best pitcher in 2020. He would, however, give the Red Sox a reliable arm that could fill multiple roles. Brault was mainly a starter last season but only pitched five innings or more in only three starts.
Farthest homer hit by a pitcher in 2019:
Steven Brault (441 feet) pic.twitter.com/Gpt06HIW9C
— Max Goldstein (@MaxSportsStudio) November 6, 2019
Furthermore, this would be an under the radar move that Bloom is known for. Brault would be an immediate upgrade over last year’s starters, such as Zack Godley, Dylan Covey, and Mike Kickham. This year’s free-agent class unfortunately is not very deep making a trade more likely. The Red Sox also have an open spot after declining an option on Martin Perez.
Additionally, over the past week, Brault has been a popular name in the rumor mill. According to John Morosi, the Pirates have been receiving calls from teams about Brault. Whether or not the Red Sox have been one of those is unknown, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they got involved. The Regular season is still months away, but Brault could be on the move. The Red Sox are expected to be busy this offseason, and Brault is one name they could look at.