With the Red Sox starting rotation far from set the team is still open to making a deal for a bonified type starter reports Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
Currently the five pitchers battling it out for the final two spots have been good in their outings with Daniel Bard leading the way. Felix Doubront is out of options so a bullpen spot may be more suitable for him if he can’t adjust to pitching every five days. The same goes for Andrew Miller.
Alfredo Aceves is the most likely to snag the fifth and final spot but his services are best used out of the bullpen. Let’s hope Bobby Valentine agrees with that and uses Aceves like Francona did last season; spot starts and valuable innings out of the pen.
While no teams have been named and Speier goes on to say that it’s too early for a market to materialize, it is intriguing to hear the club keep an open mind about making a deal.
We know the Chicago White Sox will attract a lot of attention at some point this season with starter Gavin Floyd sitting in the Windy City. With the Chi Sox stuck in the middle of trying to rebuild or reload, Floyd will likely become available, it’s just a matter of when. Depending on what kind of start the club gets off too and how quickly the Tigers run away with the division, it could be sooner than later, and the Red Sox will be interested. Floyd is under team control in 2013 for a value of $9.75 million.
To lure Floyd from one Sox team to another will require prospects and young talent. The Red Sox have a few options who are out of options; Felix Doubront, Andrew Miller and Michael Bowden. All three have tremendous potential, but their internal clock is ticking and they best prove something this spring.
Lars Anderson is another player that the Red Sox would love to move. His stock has fallen lately but his start to the spring is encouraging. If he can continue to produce this spring and bump his trade value, it’s likely we’ll be hearing his name on the trade front.
The ideal trade partner for a starting pitcher is the Tampa Bay Rays with both Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis battling it out for the final spot and the loser possibly being dealt. But an inter-division deal is highly unlikely, especially between the Red Sox and Rays, a rivalry that continues to heat up. So let’s count the Rays out.
There is always Matt Garza who is still waiting on a long-term deal from Theo Epstein and the Cubs. If no deal can be struck then Garza could be moved, likely at the last minute of the deadline. The Sox may not be willing to wait that long and it’s doubtful that Garza’s price tag would have dropped from the prospect filled package to be sent the other way.
The Houston Astros are the other team that is a proverbial front runner to make a deal for starter Wandy Rodriguez. And he’s a lefty, something the Red Sox could use in the rotation, another southpaw.
We’ve heard Wandy’s name quite often throughout the off season, only to have any rumors fall flat. The Astros, like the Cubs and White Sox will likely wait to see what type of market develops before pulling the trigger, but many see Rodriguez being dealt this season.
Rodriguez does bring some baggage, in the form of a $13 million dollar contract for 2012 and 2013. The team does have an option in 2014 for $13M or a $2.5M buyout. The key to landing Wandy will be, surprise, prospects. The names Miller, Doubront, Bowden and Anderson once again appear as trade pieces should the Red Sox brass feel a deal is needed to be made later this spring.
For now we wait and watch as the Ben Cherington plan of buy low, stock pile and hope like hell that one or two of his low-cost investments can regain their old form will pay off. So far we’ve seen a bit of both but nothing is certain, even in baseball.
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Tags: Alfredo Aceves Andrew Miller Ben Cherington Boston Red Sox Chicago Cubs Daniel Bard Felix Doubront Gavin Floyd Houston Astros Jeff Nieman Lars Anderson Matt Garza Michael Bowden Tampa Bay Rays Theo Epstein Wade Davis Wandy Rodriguez