Ranking the best free agent pitching targets

1 of 8

This represents part two of a five-part analysis of the 2015 Red Sox rotation. Part one looked at the arms that carried the team through 2014, while part two examines the free agent market for potential fits. These rankings do not rank players by talent. Ben Cherington has shown an unwillingness to exceed five-year deals with significant price tags. No player has been excluded by a projected contract, but their position in my rankings reflects the team’s ability to sign them. Players are also categorized into two segments, those who are “true aces” and those who would be a “wingman” to an ace.

Honorable Mention: 

8. Max Scherzer

Sep 15, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher

Max Scherzer

(37) gets ready to deliver a pitch in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Scherzer is easily the best starting pitcher that will be available this winter. He is also 30 years young, has strikingly low mileage on his arm and is coming off two Cy Young-caliber seasons. He wants and will probably get a seven year deal worth over $150 million dollars. A team will give it to him, and they might even win a World Series with him, but at some point, they will no longer want to pay him $25+ million dollars a season. My guess is they will start to grow concerned as he turns 34, and will be in full on panic mode when the clock strikes 35.

He is going to break the bank for some team this offseason and barring a complete reversal of GM Ben Cherington’s spending philosophy, I don’t expect that team to be the Red Sox.