Red Sox: Five affordable free agent starting pitcher targets
By Max Bozicas
Homer Bailey also bounced between two teams in 2019, starting the season with the Kansas City Royals and finishing it with the Oakland Athletics. Like Drew Smyly, Bailey’s play improved once he began with his new team.
In Kansas City, he had posted a 4.80 ERA, 8.9 H/9, 1.2 HR/9, 3.8 BB/9, 8.1 S0/9, and a 1.411 WHIP. In Oakland, he improved on almost all of those metrics, but the most telling decrease was his BB/9, as he dropped that down to just 1.8 during his tenure with the Athletics.
I mentioned it earlier, but I cannot stress enough how badly the Red Sox need to improve on limiting walks in 2020. They simply could not find the strike zone consistently and it was a huge catalyst for the team’s overall regression. Bailey’s BB/9 dropping that low might be a bit of an anomaly seeing as his career average in that area is 3.0, but that’s still better than how the Red Sox did in that area this year.
Even with his career average factoring in, Bailey allowed over 2.9 BB/9 just once from 2011-2019. He’s proven he can drop that number below 3.0 on a consistent basis and that is something that may attract the Red Sox.
Bailey will turn 34 in 2020 so he might not garner a ton of interest from other clubs, but he would be a solid fit on a short term contract for Boston.