Red Sox, Other MLB Teams Scouting Johnny Cueto


Yesterday’s debacle of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays has Red Sox Nation in a major-league funk. The loss saw the Boston Red Sox swept by a division rival, granted the hottest team in baseball, and brought them ten games below .500 for the season. The Red Sox stand eight games back of the division-leading New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, two teams expected to perform much worse than Boston at the beginning of the season.

With losing breeds trade rumors.

Jon Morosi of FoxSports reported this on Twitter:

An interesting question, to say the least.

Of course Red Sox fans will want blood, at this point. Trade anyone! Trade everyone! Stop us from being in the basement, once again! However, is that the logical course of action?

At BoSox Injection, this platform has already covered previous rumors of the Cueto saga moving to Boston. Instead of rehashing the past, let’s look at the present: sub-par pitching, combined with sloppy defense at times, terrible production by big-name veterans at the plate. Where does it say that an ace pitcher is going to solve all of that strife?

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The man wants a long-term deal for more than $10 million a season, after he finishes his current contract in 2015. This money is going to be needed to fill a bunch of holes in the Red Sox’ ship, let alone for one starting pitcher. In fact, the pitching, if you can believe it, has been getting better. In April, the Red Sox were dead last in team ERA (5.04). In May, they were twelfth in the American League, ahead of teams like the Yankees and Blue Jays, with a 4.12 ERA. Boston’s staff has given up the most runs in the month of June, but are closely followed by the Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners, and Minnesota Twins. The Twins sit second in their division, while the Mariners and Angels are in the middle of the pack.

Clearly, it is more than just pitching that has the Red Sox in the basement of the A.L. East.

In RBIs, the Red Sox sit with 234, while the league-leading Blue Jays have 340. The Yankees sit at 275; the Baltimore Orioles have 252; and the Tampa Bay Rays, with almost no big bat in their lineup, follow the Red Sox by only six runs. You can’t gain ground against division opponents when they score more runs than you do, regardless of whom they are playing.

Nobody is questioning that the Red Sox need help with their starting rotation, which has not come through like they had hoped. However, top prospects like Eduardo Rodriguez, short of yesterday’s outing, has looked amazing. Blake Swihart, Rusney Castillo, and Mookie Betts have all found starting positions with the team, this season. Where would the team have been if they were not around, because of a trade for one pitcher: a player who only takes the field once every five days? If young talent is traded for Cueto, there is no guarantee that he would be around next year to pitch in Boston, after free agency. That move would be one heck of a gamble, considering one pitcher will likely not make much difference in the Red Sox’ hopes of the 2015 post-season.

If everything continues the way it has for Boston, they will not be buyers at the end of the trade deadline; they are going to be sellers. The move for Cueto does not make any logical sense, unless general manager Ben Cherington honestly thinks that the rotation and the position players will rally behind the team and Cueto for a push in the second half of the season.

That’s right. The season is already almost half over. Out of the five teams in the A.L. East, four of them are within three games of the lead. Where are the Red Sox, again? That’s right, eight games back, on a six-game losing streak, three wins out of ten games, and looking more like the Keystone Cops on defense than professional ballplayers. Anyone else feeling like the Cueto deal is highly unlikely?

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