Red Sox Exploring Outside Pitching Options To Add Depth
Even though the Red Sox have their starting rotation set for the Opening Week, general manager Ben Cherington doesn’t appear to be quite satisfied with what he sees in the depth department. Now with a bullpen having sprung a major leak, the need to add relief arms could also be on the radar.
Michael Silverman tweeted that Cherington is continuing to explore external options that would bring some pitching depth to the club. While neither Cherington nor Silverman elaborated on which names were being thrown around, here is the latest on the usual suspects and what it means for the Red Sox.
Roy Oswalt – tired of hearing his name yet? The latest surrounding the stubborn free-agent is that he will require 60 days to train and get into game day shape before he’s ready to compete, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports via Twitter. This time frame puts Oswalt’s services unavailable until early June, the same time line he originally stated as to when he would like to sign with a club. This may be too late for the Red Sox as they may need somebody sooner than later should their top five not produce to the level the team needs.
John Lannan – the Nationals optioned their former starter to the minors today, a move that signifies they are not worried about the financial burden as much as the performance aspect. Lannan has lost his spot in the rotation to Ross Detwiler and could now once again become the topic of trade rumors. MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reports that the asking price for Lannan was extremely high which cause all interested parties to shy away. With Lannan now in the minors, a trade may be easier to put together considering his value is now perceived to be lower. So far the Red Sox haven’t been tied to Lannan on this go round but that could change.
Matt Garza – still a long shot to land the former Rays stud, but with no new news on any contract extensions, a deal is still a possibility at this point. At least until we hear differently. With no rumors surrounding a deal involving Garza, that could heat up come June or July if the Sox need depth to maintain their playoff lives.
Mike Gonzalez – nothing new to report on the reliever other than that he worked out for Cincinnati last week.
There are some internal options to help fill the bullpen. Vicente Padilla just became a valuable asset to have in the pen and if Andrew Miller and Rich Hill can recover from injury and throw productive outings then suddenly the bullpen isn’t so bad. Of course if they can’t then that takes us back to why we’re discussing Cherington’s options and his need for depth.
As of right now there doesn’t appear to be any easy solution should the Sox need an emergency savior arm, either in the rotation or the bullpen. Bard and Doubront will be given a fair shake at the rotation and with Aceves named as the closer so Oswalt’s timing could be impeccable come June. That is of course he will play in Boston. Let’s just hope the Sox can remain in the hunt if things go south with the rotation. They did it last year and they should be able to do it this year.
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