The goodbye club has two entries from 2019 in Rick Porcello and David Price. Porcello contributed innings – mostly forgettable – and Price contributed $32 MM to the payroll for his 22 starts. You know how management feels when they are willing to toss in $48 MM to send you 3,000 miles away.
Everyone needs an ace in their hand be it poker or baseball and the ace – a questionable designation for me – is Eduardo Rodriguez. The long-anticipated corralling of E-Rod’s noted talent finally surface in 2019 with a 19-6 record. A repeat will be needed but entering the spring training evaluation Rodriguez is the centerpiece.
The possible replacement for lefty Price is Lefty Martin Perez who managed 10-7 for the surprising Twins. As with most Red Sox moves this was dictated by his price sticker. Even a 0.2 bWAR will get you $6 MM and a probable rotation lock.
The real issue this spring will be the health watch directed at two hurlers upon whom success or failure rests. Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi will be carefully monitored for any nicks and dents. Does the season hinge upon their collective returns? From my view, they will be the focus thing spring and rightfully so.
Just who or what fills out this rotation? Is Andrew Cashner still available? Is a rookie going to discover sudden pitching magic and win over the day? With Chaim Bloom in charge are the Red Sox going to go the opener route? I see nothing on the pitching horizon either within the system, in available free agents, in trades, or languishing in some baseball outposts such as Korea or Venezuela.
Teams win with pitching and the Red Sox rotation needs a coach with a Hazmat suit. There are far too many good things that must fall into place for the rotation to be a success. Going into spring training this is collectively a staff that borders on Baltimorish for comparison sake.
Just what will be the physical condition of Sale and Eovaldi? Who will round out the rotation?