Boston Red Sox have limited options to spend on in 2021
By Sean Penney
Upgrading the rotation
Pitching is where the Red Sox need the most help but next year’s class lacks surefire options to boost their rotation.
The top arm projected to be on the market is Trevor Bauer. The right-hander has one stellar season on his resume when he broke out as a Cy Young candidate in 2018. His steep regression following the deal that sent him to Cincinnati is almost as concerning as the reasons why Cleveland gave up on a 28-year old star pitcher. Bauer’s prickly demeanor makes David Price seem friendly by comparison. It’s hard to see how a pitcher with his attitude would fit in Boston.
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Bauer has also stated his intention to sign one-year deals throughout his career to maximize his value. Red Sox fans complained that Betts showed a lack of loyalty by not committing to the franchise long-term. How would they treat a guy who wants to take the rest of his career one year at a time?
Marcus Stroman could earn a big payday if he follows up his first All-Star campaign with another productive season. He spent the majority of his career in Toronto so we know he’s AL East tested. Stroman doesn’t miss a lot of bats though, posting a pedestrian 7.4 K/9 rate for his career. He needs a strong defense behind him in order to thrive. The left side of Boston’s infield is a bit shaky and the outfield defense takes a massive dip with Betts gone and Jackie Bradley Jr. expected to follow him out of town after this season.
Mike Minor, Jake Odorizzi, and Masahiro Tanaka have all shown the ability to be at least a solid No. 2 starter in recent years but they will each be 31 or older when they hit free agency. They could be on the radar on short-term deals but they lack long-term upside.