Trevor – You make very good points about Sonny Gray. However, I am not sure the price is worth it. The team is sitting in first place without a true ace as it stands. I am not sure one pitcher will be the difference in a series against a team with multiple aces in their rotation.
What a post season can really come down to is the bullpen. That is why I believe the best move is for Pat Neshek. The age and role of the Philly reliever would make him cost less than finding an ace.
Don’t forget, Neshek is an All Star. He is putting together a dominant year where he has left 92 percent of runners on base. The one year rental could be a good option. It helps the team this year, and lets Stearns attack the offseason however he wants.
Age is just not a huge concern based on how he will contribute to the team. His level of play sures up the bullpen enough to help the starting rotation more effectively.
The follow up to this is getting creative with the pitching staff. Adding another All Star reliever would sure up the bullpen enough to try and push Josh Hader into the rotation down the stretch.
Yes, that is a pipedream at this point, but it could be the right move. If he can get some experience as a starter, it could help his control and help the team. They will need him deep in games, and that sink or swim of throwing strikes in his first start will be very telling.
Neshek would be a cheaper and more beneficial move down the stretch. Letting Craig Counsell show his creativity with the pitching staff. It will keep the team in first place.