Sep 6, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
The set pieces are Kelly and the enigmatic Buchholz. Buchholz has certainly got “the stuff” to be a top of the line rotation guy and has shown that, periodically. My assumption is the Red Sox will hold on to Buchholz.
Kelly is certainly a middle of the rotation guy.
The trial runs of various starters during the summer was like eating saltines while someone else has rib eye. None left a feeling of confidence. So that means free agency and trades.
I would attempt to get Lester with Shields and Santana as fall backs. The other possibility is a trade for Cueto.
The Red Sox will also import the usual mix of pitchers who are looking for opportunity after varying degrees of success at the MLB level. A “toss it against the wall and see if it sticks” approach.