In addition to adding strength to the MLB rotation by adding Wade Miley, the Red Sox also took care of some other important business: thinning out some of the excess depth in their upper minors. By trading Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster, the Red Sox are creating a much more clear path to the majors for top prospects like Henry Owens, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Brian Johnson. However, there’s still work to be done to clear a path for those prospects and the Red Sox could clear some more space by trading away Anthony Ranaudo.
After winning the International League’s Pitcher of the Year Award this season, a year in which he went 14-4 with a 2.61 ERA for the PawSox, Ranaudo has a fair amount of prospect value. However, after a miserable showing in Boston over the final few months of the year, it appears extremely unlikely that he will ever play a major part in the Red Sox’ bullpen, making him an obvious trade candidate.
In 7 starts for the Red Sox, Ranaudo went 4-3 with a 4.81 ERA, which looks like a typical case of a rookie struggling in his first experience with Major League hitters. Judging by both the eye test and peripheral stats such as FIP, Ranaudo was lucky to even have an ERA as low as that.
In that cup of coffee with the Red Sox, Ranaudo simply looked incredibly unimpressive. He walked more batters than he struck out, punching out only 15 batters to 16 free passes in 39.1 innings pitched, and appeared to have only one major league average pitch, his curveball. And while that curve had some potential, he was unable to control his fastball, often leaving it up, which led to a ridiculously high 2.3 HR/9 rate, and he showed no semblance of a legitimate change.
Ranaudo is still relatively young (he is entering his age 25 season) and some of his failure this season could be chalked up to small sample size. However, most rookies who struggle in their first showing at least display a few positives; for example, Webster had great stuff, but never really figured out his command. Ranaudo showed absolutely nothing and, in my opinion, has a bleak outlook as a starting pitcher.
However, due to his success in Triple-A, other teams may still see his value as that of a legitimate starter, despite his actual ceiling being somewhere in the range of a decent setup man. The Red Sox should take advantage of that and try and deal Ranaudo away this offseason, as his facade of being a starter may not last much longer.