The Boston Red Sox are “pushing” to acquire a starting pitcher and could do so in short order, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It’s unknown who the team is targeting specifically.

The Sox have a rotation need after deciding to shift Nathan Eovaldi to the bullpen when he returns from the injured list after the All-Star break. The fifth starter spot is currently wide open, with Hector Velazquez, Steven Wright and the use of an “opener” among the top options currently in play.

Boston is unlikely to add significant salary at this point in this season, so any addition will likely come at a lower cost. That, of course, may drive up the prospect cost for a team that doesn’t have a ton of high-end talent on the farm.

The top two starting pitchers available this summer are San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner and Toronto’s Marcus Stroman, but neither appears to be an ideal fit for the Red Sox. Bumgarner has a no-trade clause and can block a deal to Boston and Stroman’s recent history with members of the organization (as well as him playing for a division rival) make a deal there less likely.

Other potential starters available on the market include Detroit’s Matthew Boyd, Cincinnati’s Tanner Roark, Baltimore’s Andrew Cashner, Seattle’s Mike Leake, Kansas City’s Danny Duffy and the Mets’ Zack Wheeler. Boyd is the best of that bunch but will come at a high price because he is under team control through 2022.

President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has made early strikes on the trade market before. In 2016, he acquired Aaron Hill, Brad Ziegler and Drew Pomeranz during the All-Star break, more than three weeks before the deadline.

WHITE SOX: Chicago claimed first baseman A.J. Reed off waivers from the Houston Astros and have assigned him to Triple-A Charlotte. Reed has a .153 career average over 48 games for Houston from 2016-18. He had spent this season at Triple-A Round Rock and was designated for assignment by the Astros on July 2.

PHILLIES: Jake Arrieta will be spending some of his All-Star break at the doctor’s office. The Phillies right-hander has bone spurs in his right elbow, and he’ll be checked to see whether surgery is needed. He’s 8-7 with a 4.67 ERA. He allowed six runs in a 6-5 loss to the Mets on Saturday.


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