The Boston Red Sox failed miserably in the recent free agency window, and with a need for a starting pitcher, they can redeem themselves this winter.
This winter will prove to be one hell of a hurdle for the Red Sox front office staff. Not only are we in the final days of the season without a GM but several players are about to it free agency.
Boston fumbled last winter’s free-agent window and they need to make some serious moves during this upcoming offseason. The biggest challenge they need to overcome is securing a quality starting pitcher and a big fish will be hitting the market soon enough.
The starting rotation was a major factor in why the Red Sox won the World Series last year, conversely, it’s a major factor why they won’t be playing October baseball this year. As it stands right now Boston has just a single quality starter in Eduardo Rodriguez. The rest of the Red Sox rotation has been a legitimate nightmare this year.
Both Chris Sale and David Price had their seasons ended due to injury and the subsequent reparative surgeries. Rick Porcello has done everything in his power to not build confidence in himself during a contract year.
Finally, Nathan Eovaldi has been on and off the IL with mixed results in his outings. With Porcello heading the way of free agency this winter there will be a gap in the rotation with nobody in house ready to take over the spot. So it’s time to go shopping!
There’s one name on the board this winter that I feel the Red Sox absolutely need to go after not just to regain their position in the standings but also as a baseball powerhouse.
That man is Houston Astros righty, Gerrit Cole. Now, some of you may think that’s a crazy idea just based on his expected salary demands, but hear me out, Boston has a ton a freakin’ money.
Porcello’s AAV is currently at $20.63M versus Cole’s $13.5M but that’s surely to balloon the moment the season ends. Even with his expected high demands, there is the flexibility to sign Cole. If I had to guess on possible wages for Cole going forward he’ll be right in that $20M AAV sweet spot.
He currently owns an 18-5 record through 200.1IP, has a 2.32 ERA, and oh yeah, 302 strikeouts. He’ll definitely be the belle of the ball this winter with multiple teams fighting over him and pushing that price tag through the roof.
His skills are without question but his cost will surely make the Fenway Sports Group sweat. It’ll come down to whether or not they want to be relevant in 2020 or continue to be a disappointment. Boston recently fired Dave Dombrowski and with that, we may not see anymore big-time spending sprees for a long while.
This very well could hinder the Red Sox in their pursuit of Cole, and well, anyone. But Boston can’t go another offseason sitting on the sideline while every other team gets better. As we all saw in 2019, that sure wasn’t the best gameplan going into this year. So if the Red Sox want any kind of chance against the Yankees or Astros next year, they’ll have to splash some cash.
It’s clear that FSG wants to focus on rebuilding the farm system and lowering the budget but that may not be as easy as replacing Dombrowski. Also, with Porcello coming off the books, that many can be repurposed towards Cole. I know it’s easier said than done, but the Sox can’t go another year with this massively mediocre rotation.
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The other issue with backing a Brinks truck up to Cole’s house is the impending free agency of Mookie Betts, and the season-by-season opt-out possibility of J.D. Martinez. Both would require a serious amount of money in order to lock them into Boston for the foreseeable future. Getting under the Luxury Tax Threshold is a wonderful idea but it won’t be happening overnight and FSG can’t afford to sacrifice wins to do so.
Gerrit Cole is a phenomenal pitcher and could do wonders for this Boston staff. With Sale and Price both showing massive dings in the armor, having someone that feels untouchable in the rotation again would be an incredible boost to this squad.
Especially if E-Rod continues to evolve into the ace he’s becoming. Having him paired with another current top guy as well as two aging aces could only do wonders for Eduardo. It won’t be cheap adding Cole could shift the balance of power back to Boston.
The upcoming winter is going to give us a great insight into the mindset of the Red Sox going forward. Will they continue to be big spenders in free agency or will they focus more on the farm system? Only time will tell but the one truth in all of this is that they need to fix this pitching staff and can’t ignore it any longer. Whoever gets the hot seat in the Boston front office won’t be getting much sleep any time soon that’s for sure.