Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Everyone knows the Boston Red Sox need to find starting pitching this off season. Who should they be targeting?
The Boston Red Sox and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski already made one of the biggest trades this hot stove season packaging a quartet of prospects for All Star closer Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel cost the Red Sox four minor leaguers who–although top-25 prospects–are not likely to have been playing in Fenway Park in 2016 or even 2017.
It was a positive move for the Red Sox in that they gained arguably the best closer in baseball without parting with major league pieces such as center fielders Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr., shortstop Xander Bogaerts, pitchers Henry Owens and Brian Johnson, or catcher Blake Swihart.
While outfielder Manuel Margot, infielders Carlos Asuaje and Javier Guerra, and pitcher Logan Allen are solid prospects, only Margot (with Bradley and Betts ahead of him in centerfield in Boston) was a “can’t miss” player.
While another trade to land a much-needed starter should be up next. The Red Sox have reportedly faced resistance when trying to deal for an ace. Teams like Oakland with starter Sonny Gray, the Mets with Matt Harvey, and Chicago with Chris Sale are not letting their young, inexpensive aces go for anything less than a trio of major league ready prospects (and even just three may not be enough).
As much as Dave Dombrowski may want Harvey, Sale or Gray at the top of the rotation, the price may be simply too high. So if the trade market is not amenable for a starting pitcher, the next route is free agency. Let’s take a look at the top free agent pitchers and their potential fit in Boston:
Next: The Top Option