Red Sox Free-Agent Roundup: Pitching Edition
It’s been a few days, but I now return to the keyboard despite what feels like a red wine hangover that has lasted much too long. Ahh the holidays, they do it to me every year.
As I awoke from my vino hazed slumber, I was quickly reminded that the Red Sox haven’t signed anybody to help their pitching rotation. They made a run at Gio Gonzalez but I was still cognizant when the Nationals simply dangled a better package in front of Billy Beane. I’m thankful they did as further depletion of the Red Sox farm system may have been enough to continue the wine savaged roller coaster. Through a tireless effort, I’ve caught up on the rumors and updates on where the Olde Town Team stands and with that I present the latest Red Sox free-agent roundup; trade possibilities included of course.
Roy Oswalt – despite lowering his asking price from a three-year deal to a one-year, the veteran still remains unsigned. The Red Sox are said to be interested as are the Yankees, Marlins and Blue Jays according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. With the Gio Gonzalez deal in the rear view mirror, the bidding for Oswalt could begin shortly in the New Year. With Oswalt only asking for one-year, many teams could get in on the action. Again, Ben Cherington has the opportunity to act rather than re-act, but his patient approach of letting the market come to him is working so well that why not let another good starting option go elsewhere.
Hiroki Kuroda – like Oswalt, Kuroda appears to be willing to accept a one-year deal and while his preference is to play on the West Coast, he has said he would heat East; good news for the Red Sox. While I previously ripped Kuroda and thought the Red Sox should stay far away from him, a one-year gamble isn’t all bad. If he can put up half decent numbers behind what should be a ferocious offense, the 37-year old could wind up winning 15 games. The Yankees are said to be interested on the Japanese hurler, but no one is really sure how deep. This could be another ploy by the Evil Empire to drive up the price on the Red Sox.
Edwin Jackson – like the first two, Jackson’s phone should start ringing in the New Year according to Heyman, there are already multiple teams interested in the World Series champion. The Yankees are said to be the front-runners, followed by the Blue Jays, Orioles, Rockies and Marlins. The Tigers are said to be in the market for pitching help and the Pirates are listed as long -shots. Thus far the Red Sox haven’t been linked to Jackson, but if Kuroda and Oswalt land elsewhere, Cherington may be forced to get involved. Currently the Jackson camp is seeking a 3-year deal worth more than $33 million, which may be a little rich for the inconsistent Jackson.
Ryan Madson – both the Red Sox and LA Angels are still interested in the former Phillies closer, although both clubs appear to waiting for the market to come to them….wait what? Madson wants three-years and that is something that Ben Cherington has been hesitant to give. The annual salary of $10 million per season would be a knock against the luxury tax threshold, but at this point with Madson being the best closing option still available via free agency, he may get what he wants. Let’s just hope it’s with the Red Sox.
Andrew Bailey – now that the dust has settled from the Gonzalez trade, Bailey still remains a viable trade option for Boston. Despite an attempt to package both Bailey and Gonzalez from Billy Beane, Cherington appears to still be interested in just Bailey. But if the trade market has taught us anything in the past few weeks its that any trade for a pitcher won’t come cheap, including Bailey. Even though he’s younger and less expensive than Madson, the prospect-heavy package makes Bailey too costly.
Matt Garza – his name has been mentioned in trade rumors involving the San Diego Padres and Theo Epstein has also said Garza is the type of pitcher he could build a team around. So we’ll take all that and say he’s still available for the right package. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe addresses the possibility of including Garza as part of the Theo compensation with Boston sending a couple of prospects back the other way. While this is still under the realm of possibilities, I won’t be holding my breath waiting for it. As a reader commented a while back, Theo won’t do any favors for Larry L. Not now, not ever.
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