Early predictions for the 2015 Red Sox rotation

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Number Four Starter: Allen Webster

Sep 12, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Allen Webster (64) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone who has read any of my writings knows I believe in Allen Webster. Enough to give him a spot next year, and down the stretch he looked like a pitcher who deserved a rotation spot. Granted its a tremendously small sample size but:

The talent is there and he was putting it together in September. I would not be opposed to trying him in the bullpen because I think he could succeed there too, and as mentioned in the Peter Gammons article I linked earlier, giving Carlos Carrasco time to hone his skills in the bullpen worked wonders for the now Indians starter. Tyson Ross followed that same path himself actually. So in the end my conclusion is to start him in the rotation and if he doesn’t succeed, try him in the bullpen until he does.

Plan B) Justin Masterson

Aug 30, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Justin Masterson (63) delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Another signing that would not slightly surprise me is a reunion with Justin Masterson. It seems like for years the team, and fans, have been scheming of ways to bring the talented starter back to Boston after dealing him away for Victor Martinez in 2009. But this year there were no Masterson rumblings. No, this year he struggled… mightily. So much so that the Indians decided that the player who was their ace for the last few seasons was becoming a roadblock to their new group of talented young arms.

He was dealt to the Cardinals, a team notorious for taking flyers and turning them into core components. But even the magic at work in St. Louis proved incapable of fixing Masterson. He should be very cheap this offseason and people in the organization still love him here. He could pay dividends for someone willing to give him a chance, and don’t rule out that team being us.

Plan C) Jon Niese

I would not trade premier prospects for Jon Niese. The Mets, conceivably would not accept an offering of sub-par prospects for Niese. The oft-maligned Joel Sherman of the New York Post has a suggestion straight out of left field (very bad pun intended), in the form of a rather uneven straight up swap of Niese and Yoenis Cespedes. Right off the bat, I am sure some are wondering if we turned Cespedes into Jon Lester, how on Earth does it follow that Niese would be our return for Cespedes.

It all comes down to club control here. Niese is signed to one of the most manageable contracts in baseball right now, while Cespedes is entering a walk year. There has been speculation that the team has no desire to extend Cespedes and will be looking to move him either this winter or next deadline. Personally, I don’t understand the sentiment and am frazzled by the notion that he doesn’t fit into our future plans here. I don’t want to trade Cespedes and while this trade is closer to fair than many of you think, I will want more than that (elite bullpen arms and/or prospects). I much prefer Sherman’s first suggestion of a Shane Victorino for Bartolo Colon swap. But I also think he’s crazy if he thinks the Mets can pry Bogaerts from us, even with All-Star Daniel Murphy and super prospect Noah Syndergaard. Niese would be a good add, but remains a long shot.