The Red Sox have done everything within reason to give themselves an excellent chance to contend next season, adding two big bats while filling out their depleted pitching staff with solid mid-rotation arms, agreeing to no absurd contracts in the process. If there’s something the team still needs, though, it’s a top of the rotation pitcher. Boston pushed hard to sign Jon Lester, but he opted to join the Cubs instead, and Max Scherzer signed a huge deal to pitch in the Nation’s Capital. Due to his age and likely high contract, James Shields is still a free agent, but due to the same reasons, it would be wise for the Red Sox to pass on Shields.
However, there is still a free agent pitcher available that could give the Red Sox that ace-caliber pitcher that could put Boston over the top, and he doesn’t even carry a high price tag. That pitcher is former Atlanta Braves starter Brandon Beachy.
There is a reason why Beachy, despite having elite stuff and excellent results during his time in the majors, doesn’t have the price tag of your average top-of-the-rotation starter. Needless to say, that reason is Beachy’s health, which has been a major problem for the young right-hander during his career.
In the last two seasons, Beachy has started just five major league games. Halfway through the 2012 season, it was announced that Beachy would undergo Tommy John Surgery after a phenomenal 13-start showing, in which he posted a stingy 2.00 ERA for the Braves. He came back to start five games for the Braves towards the end of the 2013 season, posting a 4.50 ERA and 5.75 K/BB, but during spring training 2014, the injury-prone Beachy was forced to undergo his second Tommy John Surgery.
If the Red Sox were to bring Beachy to Boston, there’s no guarantee that he would even be the same pitcher as he was before his surgeries. However, he does bring a pedigree of elite performance and will likely settle for a short, relatively inexpensive contract. He may not be healthy to start the season, but perhaps, down the line, Beachy could represent the ace that the Red Sox so badly need.