Boston Red Sox Round Table: Which free agent pitcher is the best fit?

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Sep 30, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) delivers a pitch to an Atlanta Braves batter in the first inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Matt: Another important factor in this is years and cost. I know we are assuming they would all be the same for argument’s sake, but I feel like you may have to offer more for Greinke to come to Boston. No matter what, they’ll all cost a ton!

Rick: My choice would be Greinke since it would require a few less years (an assumption, of course) than the long-term requirement that Price, Cueto or Jordan Zimmermann would seek. Yes, I tossed Zimmermann into the cauldron of wishes. Age is a factor for contract lengths and the Red Sox would probably go short on years and high on dollars. Statistically Greinke is the best of the litter.

Sean: We know from last year’s negotiations with Lester that the Red Sox ownership group is hesitant to offer long-term deals to pitchers on the wrong side of 30. Greinke is the oldest of this trio at 32, but if he’s willing to sign for 4-5 years instead of the 7+ that Price and Cueto will want, perhaps that offsets some of the risks associated with his condition. The 29-year old Zimmermann is younger than all of them, but he seems to have a lower ceiling than the other pitchers in this discussion and he’s the only one of them that has never pitched for an AL team.

Brandon: I’m always very cautious about players switching leagues. I know Greinke used to play in the AL, but at least Price has been a proven talent in the same division.

Jorge: As long as the next ace is Sonny Gray or Chris Sale, I don’t mind who they sign because the No. 1 starter and leader of a postseason rotation wouldn’t be the free agent.

It’s certainly possible that the Red Sox pass on bidding for any of these potential free agent targets. The trade route is another option that the front office will explore, but discussing which starter the Red Sox should deal for is a debate for another day!