One of the starting pitchers in which the Red Sox have been rumored to be kicking the ti..."/> One of the starting pitchers in which the Red Sox have been rumored to be kicking the ti..."/>

Gio Gonzalez to Nationals, Sox Pitching Options Getting Smaller

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One of the starting pitchers in which the Red Sox have been rumored to be kicking the tires of late was Athletics left-hander Gio Gonzalez, but it was learned Thursday night that he has been traded to the Nationals. The Nationals gave up four top prospects in return for Gonzalez. This would explain why the Red Sox probably did not get Gonzalez or make an offer, they simply don’t have the major league ready talent in their farm system. Those players were dealt away in the Adrian Gonzalez and Victor Martinez trades.

With Gonzalez off the market that is another pitcher off the market and not in a Red Sox uniform. The team has been unusually quiet this offseason, and they don’t seem to be panicking despite the uncertainty of their starting rotation and bullpen.

The lack of urgency from the Red Sox this off season to acquire pitching help leads me to believe that general manager Ben Cherington has a plan in place for 2012. I would imagine that he is pretty set on having Daniel Bard being a starter, which leaves an opening for either the set up man/closer position depending on their plans for Mark Melancon. I would suspect that he will take over for Bard as the set up man and the Red Sox have a closer in mind that they will look to acquire. Andrew Bailey from the Athletics could be a possibility, or a bigger name would be Ryan Madson of the Phillies.

The Red Sox still need to find a fifth starter and like the bullpen they don’t seem to be panicking. New manager Bobby Valentine has said the season doesn’t start until April and there is a long time between now and then, so there is no reason to worry now. I would assume what the Red Sox have in mind for their fifth starter is a relatively inexpensive older player. If the Red Sox wanted to sign or trade for a big name it would have already happened at this point.

With the Red Sox very quiet off season and comments from Valentine and Cherington make it clear that the team is not panicking about their team for 2012 and are not in any hurry to make any moves. They would rather the right move come to them, rather than making a move that they might regret down the road.

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