2. Nick Pivetta
With the Giolito signing, the Red Sox rotation is suddenly getting a little more crowded. As things stand just after the New Year, Boston's starting pitching looks something like this: Lucas Giolito, Brayan Bello, Garrett Whitlock, Kutter Crawford, Tanner Houck, and Nick Pivetta.
Giolito and Bello are bonafide locks for Opening Day. Meanwhile, all signs indicate that Garrett Whitlock will work out of the rotation, at least to start the season. Crawford was an under the radar bright spot in an otherwise putrid 2023 Boston pitching staff, starting the second-most games for the club while posting the best ERA among qualified starters. Crawford is under team control until 2028, something that the Boston front office has continued to demonstrate their value. Meanwhile, Pivetta's team control is running out, as he will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2024 season. Surprisingly (and embarrassingly), the Canadian will likely be the sixth-highest paid Sox in 2024 with an arbitration number in the neighborhood of $7 million to $7.5 million. Again, if Breslow's goal is to continue to shed salary for controllable contracts, Pivetta would fit that bill.
If Boston does bring in more reinforcements for the rotation, Pivetta is on the outside looking in. The recent revelation that closer Kenley Jansen could be dealt could initiate a trickle-down effect where Tanner Houck moves into a bullpen role, which would help Pivetta's cause.
Make no mistake, Pivetta has been arguably the Red Sox' most consistent arm over the last few seasons, but his contract is movable at an affordable number and he could be an attractive trade target for a team such as the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pivetta had also been linked to the Atlanta Braves, but that landing spot would be seemingly crossed out after their trade for Sale. From the crowded rotation, Pivetta is the most reasonable candidate to part ways with.