The three-team trade landed the Red Sox the Twins’ righty, who the Sox hoped could develop into a back to middle of the rotation starter. Nicknamed “The Buffalo”, the 6’1”, 265 LB Graterol has a 99 MPH fastball, and a 50 value slider (that’s pretty good). With the Twins, Graterol was reportedly working on a changeup to round out his arsenal of pitches to transition into a starting role.
But he’s already missed an entire season (2016) in his brief pro career due to injury. The Red Sox are insinuating that Graterol’s records project him to be more of a relief pitcher. Even though the Sox don’t have a traditional closer at the moment, Graterol being a starter represents a semblance of fair value return, considering Price is gone. If he’s projected to be more of a set-up guy, then the Sox need to ask for more marbles.
There is a chance that Chaim Bloom, the mastermind of the “Opener” in baseball, will elect to implement this philosophy again this year (with Nathan Eovaldi, and later David Price shelved with injuries in 2019, the Sox used openers pretty much all season). If the prospect of seeing Hector Velazquez or Brian Johnson start a game and leave after giving up four earned in 3.2 IP floats your boat, you may be in luck this year!
Ponder this: The Boston Red Sox, one of the wealthiest, most successful franchises in all of sports, does not have a manager, closer, or fifth starter coming into the 2020 season.
If even ONE of the current rotation pieces goes down for an extended period of time, this could end up being the most painful Sox campaign since 2012.