The Boston Red Sox will let Drew Pomeranz test – for him – a very sparse free agent market. Should they consider a low-risk contract for the lefty?
Drew Pomeranz will not be on the playoff roster to the great disappointment of whichever teams face the Boston Red Sox as they (hopefully) wind their way through the various rounds. The reasoning is quite simple – Pomeranz is a disaster.
Just a cursory examination of statistical evidence – traditional, metrics, or even an eyewitness account will attest to the ability of Pomeranz for the 2018 season. Pomeranz has failed miserably in any role assigned him either starting or the bullpen with manager Alex Cora giving ample opportunity for Pomeranz to get back on his 17-6, 3,32 ERA track of 2017.
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The Red Sox paid Pomeranz $8.5 million to get folded, spindled and mutilated by hitters who hit .297 against the 29-year-old lefty. But what added to the mess was a 5.4 BB/9 that simply placed the Pomeranz ERA, FIP, and WHIP into a red flag danger zone. Just what happened?
Pomeranz has a history of injury to his left arm money-maker and 2018 was no different. This has been an issue in his two and a half seasons with Boston. The most noticeable result was losing two ticks off his fastball velocity from 2017 (91.3v to 89.2v), but Pomeranz made a bit of adjustment by mixing in his curve and slider for greater use, but the results were still the same.
As a free agent, Pomeranz was on the verge of being a rather new member of the 1% club if he was able to duplicate 2017. That is over thanks to a perfect storm pitching nightmare and logic says to just consider this a bad moment in Red Sox history. I think differently. With a -0.5 bWAR any contract offer for Pomeranz will be baseball chump change.
Last offseason, I wanted the Red Sox to take a run at Clay Buchholz as a low risk – meaning money – option to have just in case. Buchholz did rather well until his annual appearance on the disabled list crushed the remainder of his remarkable comeback. I say take a similar approach to Pomeranz. Buchholz made $1.5 million for Arizona and that would be a nice starting point and probably ending point for Pomeranz.
Loss of speed does not concern me in regards to Pomeranz as two noted fellow lefties – Jamie Moyer and Mark Buehrle could not reach his 90v using a howitzer. And swing and miss stuff? Even in Pomeranz’s banner 2017 season that was just 9.9%. Pitch to contact and keep it in the yard which presented a third issue – a 1.5 HR/9. But back to risk-taking.
This is not a high-profile risk with dumping a multi-year contract on Pomeranz – I may be off my meds but I am not that crazy. What Pomeranz does bring is a pitcher who is at a point in his career where he needs to re-establish himself.
I can’t keep twirling around 2017 when Pomeranz was then the tenth ranked pitcher in the American League with a 3.2 fWAR and that is worth a kick of the tires in my view – especially with health issues that surface every year. See what the market conditions are in the offseason and make an offer.