Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Blake Snell, Aaron Nola, Sonny Gray, Jordan Montgomery. There have been some big names on the free agent market, but their asking prices are apparently too big for John Henry and the third-most valuable MLB franchise.
It sounds like Red Sox fans might have to settle for James Paxton and Lucas Giolito.
While Henry and Fenway Sports Group have poured finances into Liverpool FC, purchased the Pittsburgh Penguins for $900 million, and bid to invest in the PGA Tour, they appear to have forgotten about the Fenway in Fenway Sports Group.
Giolito entered the offseason as mid-tier free agent. As was discussed previously and pointed out by Cotillo, Giolito's upside is there. He earned Cy Young votes in each season from 2019-2021, including a sixth-place finish in 2019 and seventh-place in 2020. Although his top-end talent has historically been there, his career is alarmingly trending in the wrong direction.
Last season, Giolito bounced around three different teams and had a record-setting stretch, unfortunately for all of the wrong reasons. In 2023, the 29-year-old became the first pitcher since Bill Magee (remember him?) in 1899 to surrender eight earned runs in a start for three different teams in the same season.
Meanwhile, Paxton isn't a super coveted free agent, though he's coming off of a productive year for Boston where he was arguably the team's best starter for a significant stretch. After making his season debut on May 12, the Canadian southpaw held opponents to a 3.34 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, while striking out 93 batters in his first 16 starts.
He was roughed up in his last few starts, which skewed his ERA and WHIP, whilefinishing the season on the injured list with knee inflammation. If the Red Sox want to fall back on a known commodity with a demonstrated ability to perform in Boston, Paxton is a conservative bet, but far from a big splash such as Snell or Montgomery.
Boston's lackluster offseason would be more tolerable if team chairman Tom Werner hadn't promised to go "full-throttle" at the introductory press conference for new chief baseball officer Craig Breslow in November. Nothing about the Red Sox offseason has shown any semblance of flooring it.
That promise now feels empty, just like John Henry's wallet apparently.
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