Red Sox Add Ace Southpaw in The Athletic Free Agency Prediction

After missing the playoffs in four of the last five seasons, it'd be in the Red Sox's best interest to add a credible ace to the starting rotation.
The Athletic's Jim Bowden sees left-handed ace Blake Snell as the perfect free agent for the Boston Red Sox this offseason.
The Athletic's Jim Bowden sees left-handed ace Blake Snell as the perfect free agent for the Boston Red Sox this offseason. / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox have a lot to work to do this offseason, including improving the starting rotation. After all, the Red Sox's starters combined for a 4.68 ERA in 2023 (9th-worst in the Majors), meaning Chief Baseball Officer Craig Breslow could earn a lot of points from the fanbase by adding another credible arm to the mix.

Fortunately, there are several free-agent pitchers out there who could help Boston and one MLB expert has the perfect fit in mind.

Red Sox Free Agent Targets: Blake Snell

The Athletic's Jim Bowden lists southpaw ace Blake Snell — who just won the 2023 NL Cy Young Award — as the perfect fit for the Red Sox. In Bowden's eyes, a theoretical deal would be in the neighborhood of $174 million over seven years.

You'd be hard-pressed to find any Boston fans who wouldn't want to add a two-time Cy Young winner to the rotation. Snell is coming off a terrific campaign that saw him go 14-9 with an MLB-leading 2.25 ERA across 32 starts with the San Diego Padres. It was also the first time that he posted double-digit wins since 2018 (21) — the year he took home the AL Cy Young.

Red Sox fans are also familiar with Snell, who spent the first five years of his career with the rival Tampa Bay Rays. The Seattle, WA native has made five career starts at Fenway Park, too, going 3-2 with a 3.10 ERA while averaging 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings.

Snell would easily be the best arm in the Red Sox's rotation after each of their starters finished with an ERA of 4.00 or worse last season. If they can get bounce-back campaigns from the likes of Chris Sale, Brayan Bello, Tanner Houck, and Kutter Crawford while adding Snell to the mix, Boston could have one of the best rotations in the American League.

At the end of the day, signing a big-name free agent like Snell would send a message to Red Sox fans that management is tired of the losing ways. It'd also likely improve Boston's 2024 World Series odds, which are currently 16th-best in the MLB.

In other words, Breslow & Co. must act fast before another team — especially one in the AL — makes a play for Snell. Otherwise, more dark days could be on the way to Beantown.

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