With Rick Porcello entering free agency, the Red Sox have a core group of four starters – Chris Sale, David Price, Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez – but lack a fifth starter. They won’t be getting much help from the farm system, so it is certain the Red Sox will have to sign or trade for a new starter.
The trade route seems unlikely because the Red Sox would have to give up salary and assets from a depleted farm system, while free agency would only require money. The Red Sox won’t go out and sign Gerrit Cole or even a pitcher like Zack Wheeler. Rather, a back-end starter would likely be the target.
Three pitchers who could entice the Sox are Rick Porcello (sounds familiar, right), Julio Teheran, and Wade Miley. All of these pitchers should be in the Red Sox price range and pitched over 165 innings in 2019.
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Lets start with the well-known option, Porcello. He had an awful 2019 season with a 5.52 ERA and a 1.394 WHIP. Porcello did still make 32 starts, and was durable enough to throw nearly 175 innings. Porcello made upwards of $20 million in 2019 and there is sure to be a steep drop-off headed into next year. He seems to have enjoyed his time in Boston and may be willing to give up some money to stay with the club.
If you go back two months to the beginning of September, Miley was in line to be the Astros third-starter and get a three-year deal this offseason. Then, September came and went, Miley’s ERA rocketed up to 3.98, from the low-3’s earlier in the month. Miley was left off of Houston’s World Series roster and now his season has been ruined in one month. Miley may sign a 1-year deal in order to prove that he can put up a good season in back-to-back years. Also, Miley actually spent time with Boston, pitching for them in the dreaded 2015 season.
Lastly, Teheran had a solid season for the Braves in 2019, posting a 2.4 WAR. However, Teheran was originally left off of the Brave’s NLDS roster until an injury opened a spot for him. Teheran was not good in the NLDS, eventually giving up a walk-off to the Cardinals in Game 4. He still had a solid, underrated season, and could come to the Red Sox as a dark-horse option. Still, many teams could outbid the Red Sox for Teheran, so he could eventually exit the Red Sox price range.