With Spring Training just over one month away, Red Sox GM, Ben Cherington has said he may or may not be finished tinkering with his starting pitching options. That leaves a range of possibilities for one to surmise, but one option that has again crept up is the option of trading for Chicago White Sox pitcher, Gavin Floyd.
According to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports via Twitter, the Red Sox are again showing interest in Floyd, although that’s as far as it’s gone for now; kicking tires. With a number of low cost options already added to the invite list to Spring Training, the rotation is far from set, leaving an option to add a starter with Floyd’s credentials.
With the trades that have taken place thus far over the winter, this deal would cost the Red Sox a package of, you guessed it, prospects. While the price tag on Floyd likely wouldn’t be as steep as Matt Garza, this is a deal that could make a lot of sense for the Red Sox.
First off, let’s address the salary aspect as this topic is somehow involved in every topic regarding the Red Sox lately. Floyd is set to earn $7 million next season with a team option for $9.5 million next season. At 29-years old he’s under team control for two years, making this a fairly safe risk. In terms of team payroll, we’ve recently heard that in order to sign free-agent Roy Oswalt, the club would have to unload salary to make room. With Floyd coming in at $7 million, it’s likely the Sox would have to look at shedding payroll, providing Cherington sticks to his guns and tries to stay as close to the $178 threshold as possible.
As a loyal reader and active commentor to the site, JLFCASH provides a potential package with both prospects and a couple of roster players to send to Chicago for Floyd. It includes Bryce Bentz, Brandon Workman, Andrew Miller and Michael Bowden. While this package would make sense from a value standpoint, it doesn’t address the need to shed payroll as Miller is set to make just over $1 million this season and Bowden is below that.
Should Cherington slide over the threshold and pull the trigger on Floyd, he’s getting a good number four or five starter, one that he will be able to rely on to eat some innings.
He’s averaged over 193 innings in each of his last four seasons ever since becoming a full time starter for the White Sox. His career numbers are 58-55, 4.50 ERA, 1.326 WHIP, 6.9 SO/9 and 3.0 BB/9. Floyd does give up a few more hits than what is maybe comfortable, but with an improved defense behind him at Fenway Park you could expect his WHIP to lower. While his base on balls average is somewhat of a concern, he does strike out almost seven batters per 9 innings, proving he can get the big out.
Last season with the White Sox, Floyd went 12-13 with a 4.37 ERA and an improved WHIP of 1.162. His strikeout ratio was consistent at 7.0 and it’s worth making note that his walks ratio was down from his career average to 2.1 per 9 innings; a promising statistic.
His best season was in 2008 when the righty went 17-8 with a 3.84 ERA and a 1.260 WHIP, all while working in a career high 206.1 innings as a member of the White Sox.
His WAR rating has been around 3 or higher in each of his seasons as a starter, making him a good value for his $7 million next season.
Cherington has said that he won’t rule anything out in terms of adding another starter. He also said that if Spring Training started tomorrow, he’s comfortable with what they currently have.
Gavin Floyd would add some depth to the rotation and while other options such as Carlos Silva and Aaron Cook could provide similar depth, they’re coming off injuries and the uncertainty is far greater than it is on Floyd. This is a deal that the Red Sox should make.
One thing we do know is that Cherington won’t rush into anything, including this trade. This is evident by his non-reaction to the Yankees flurry of activity last week. He’s staying patient and will wait for the right deal to come along. If it doesn’t, the Sox still have one of the best trio of starters in the game. The rest can be patched together.