Red Sox: Five non-tendered players to target in free agency

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 11: Blake Treinen #39 of the Oakland Athletics pitches in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 11, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 11: Blake Treinen #39 of the Oakland Athletics pitches in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 11, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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HOUSTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 20: Aaron Sanchez #18 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park on August 20, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 20: Aaron Sanchez #18 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park on August 20, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Aaron Sanchez

Aaron Sanchez had an ERA above 6.00 with the Toronto Blue Jays to start 2019. The Houston Astros acquired him at the trading deadline in an effort to revitalize the former ERA leader. After his first start, it appeared as if they had.

In his first start with Houston, Sanchez fired 6 no-hit innings before getting pulled from the game. His value took a nosedive as he only ended up making three more starts with a 7.38 ERA. He made his final start on August 20 against the Detroit Tigers.

With his health being a question mark nearly every season, the Astros chose not to deal with his drama. They non-tendered him on Monday. Much like Gausman, the Red Sox could have interest in the right-hander as he could slot in nicely at the back-end of the rotation. However, there is a clear distinction between the two starters.

Gausman is more reliable to take the ball every fifth day as he is a much healthier pitcher. On the other hand, Sanchez is a much more high-upside starter. He isn’t overly reliable to throw 150+ innings a year which could make him undesirable to the Red Sox.

Despite that, he has shown that when he is healthy he is an elite pitcher. For example, he finished 2016 as the ERA leader and seventh in Cy Young voting. He made 30 starts that season, putting his injury woes behind him that season. Ever since, he has averaged less than 20 starts the last three seasons, although he tossed 27 mediocre innings in 2019 (97 ERA+).

If the Red Sox were interested in buy-low candidates than Sanchez could make a lot of sense for them. If he can find his 2016 form he could become a dangerous weapon at the back-end of the Red Sox rotation. He should only receive one or two-year offers with an average annual value of about $5 million.