Red Sox Tommy Layne Getting Some Attention From Others


The Boston Red Sox have come across a solid, aggressive pitcher in their bullpen. He’s left-handed. He has performed well, as of late. Does that mean that Tommy Layne is out the door, soon?

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Yes, the Red Sox have struggled this season. Yes, other teams love looking for left-handed pitching, bullpen or starters. Yes, the six-foot-two, 190-pound reliever from St. Louis, Missouri has many of the qualities that other teams would desire. Does that mean the Red Sox should trade him away?

Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported, yesterday, that “Layne is a lefthander scouts have been eyeing as they evaluate the Red Sox. If the Sox don’t recover, he will be a sought-after commodity.” An American League scout told Cafardo that “with lefty relievers, get them while they’re effective. It can be fleeting. Look at [Craig] Breslow. He was a huge part of that 2013 bullpen and now he’s a mopup guy. Layne really comes right at you and battles you.”

In Layne’s last 11.2 innings of work in 15 games, he has allowed two earned runs and 14 strikeouts, picking up a save in the process. Layne posted a 1.54 ERA in that span, a far cry better than the 5.79 ERA that he was posting in April.

You have to give up talent to get talent. It’s the nature of trades. Is Layne a talent other scouts would drool over?

Layne’s arsenal is a bit thin. According to, he throws both the four-seam and two-seam fastball, clocked at just under 90 mph. He barely throws his cutter or his changeup, opting for the slider and, sometimes, the curveball. He gets hit fairly hard, with 80% of the balls batted either driven hard or at medium speed. His saving grace is that 56.8% of those balls are grounders; only 27% are flyballs.

Right now, Layne makes $557 000 with the Red Sox. His earliest arbitration will be at the age of 32 in 2017, while his earliest free agency window will be in 2021. The Red Sox, at the moment, control his fate.

Layne is aggressive on the mound in recent games, but where is it coming from? Is it consistent? Permanent? It’s hard to tell. It’s also hard to say that he will be too old to take over as a future closer for Koji Uehara, when the Japanese reliever is past 40, already. Who would continue in the bullpen if Layne was traded? Junichi Tazawa? Will Anthony Varvaro be back?

Considering that the Red Sox are 5-5 and on a three-game win streak, granted after sweeping the bottom-feeding Oakland Athletics (no offence), it’s way too soon to think that the team is out of the hunt. It’s way too soon to know if the bullpen is strong enough without Layne to make a division run. It’s not looking good, but what else is out there?

Many questions. Few answers. One thing is for sure: if the Red Sox want top talent to resurrect this season in a big hurry, Layne will only be part of a much bigger deal. Who would go with him, if the trade even happens? What do you think will happen? Have your say, here!

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