Red Sox trade Anthony Ranaudo: Say it ain’t so!!


More from Red Sox News

This writer was surprised at the trade of

Anthony Ranaudo

to the Rangers for lefty hurler

Robbie Ross

. Surprise isn’t the only word to describe it. Some disappointment was mixed in there that the Red Sox would give up on someone with Ranaudo’s ceiling. The fact is, unfortunately, that Ranaudo had his opportunity at the end of last season. He failed the audition with a 4.81 ERA (6.89 FIP) in seven major league starts. Let me tell you a little more about why this departure has given me the blues.

If Ranaudo had come out for the draft after the 2009 season, he might have been a top five first round pick. In 2009, he led the LSU Tigers to the national championship with 159 strikeouts in 124.1 innings, a 3.04 ERA and a .209 batting average against. At six feet seven inches tall with the ability to hit up to 98 on the radar gun, he seemed like a sure top of the first round draft pick. The 2010 season was one Ranaudo would like to forget. An early season elbow injury set him back for the whole season, posting a 7.45 ERA for that season.

Based on that 2009 season, Ranaudo was a first round pick in 2010, but he fell all the way to #39 at the end of the first round of the draft. He still had a year of eligibility left, so the Red Sox were taking a chance. To show that 2010 was an aberration, Ranaudo pitched in the Cape Cod League to show the Red Sox he was worth the pick, to get them to pay an “over the slot” bonus to keep him. All he did for Brewster in that year was pitch 29.2 innings, strikeout 31, allow just ten hits, and not allow a single earned run. The Red Sox, naturally, took notice and paid Ranaudo a $2.55 million bonus, which was more than four times as much as a #39 pick is slated to get (the #38 picked pocketed a $600 thousand bonus).

A 14-4, 2.61 pitching line in 24 starts at Pawtucket seemed to show Ranaudo was ready for the show. In the 2014 September player audition, Ranaudo simply did not get it done. It would seem the Rangers still saw something in him that led them to draft him in the 11th round out of high school in 2007. He might have gone in the first five rounds if not for his commitment to LSU.

The Red Sox are in a position of strength in terms of starting pitching with more promising pitchers on the horizon. One hopes that, as with any Red Sox trade, that it isn’t short sighted. The Red Sox are trying to stock their bullpen with arms for 2015. If Robbie Ross can help the Red Sox get deep in the postseason in October, it will be worth it. Whatever happens to Ranaudo in Texas though, the question will always remain whether he could have found success in Boston if he had more of a chance. It is part of being a baseball fan, though, and what makes it so great, the joy and the pain.

More from Red Sox News