The Red Sox may believe Tomoyuki Sugano’s price is not right
The wild and wacky adventure that is the Red Sox trying to find starting pitching this winter may have taken another turn in the last day. Japanese Tomoyuki Sugano has to decide on either playing baseball in America or returning to Japan on Thursday, and it looks as if Boston may be out of the running. This news comes on the heels of reports that the team has a strong interest in both Corey Kluber and Jake Odorizzi to beef up their starting rotation.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported yesterday that many of the teams that had been linked with Sugano are out of the race including the New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, and Boston. For the Red Sox, it looks like the asking price was just too high for the team to want to add the righty to their roster, per the report. Having just reset the CBT marker this past season, they’d be foolish to tank the budget by adding a massive contract to the ledger.
"“The New York Mets are out. Other teams to whom he has been linked, like the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox, are not expected to pay Sugano what he desires,” according to Passan."
So what does this mean for Boston? Well, we’re basically back to square one as far as the pitching search is concerned. However, Kluber is set to have a workout for teams in the next week and Odorizzi is still sitting pretty on the free-agent market. Neither would be a massive addition to the budget and both have high potential that could greatly boost this ailing Red Sox pitching staff.
For Sugano, it’s felt that he’ll most likely return to Japan for another year. As much as I would’ve liked to see the Red Sox bring him in as he’s a proven commodity and had a nasty 2020 with a 1.97 ERA/0.89 WHIP/137.1IP line. He’d instantly be an improvement over the gang of starters that Boston trotted to the mound this season but if signing him would handcuff them as far as other signings, then it wouldn’t be worth it.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
This winter has been moving at a snail’s pace as far as free agency is concerned and it shouldn’t come as a surprise despite how miserable it’s been. With teams not bringing in their usual cashflow in 2020, they’ve been a lot more hesitant to write checks to bring in the big names. If this had been a normal year I feel we would’ve seen guys like George Springer and Trevor Bauer already off the board. At this point, there’s a massive game of chicken being played right now between the two sides and both are waiting for the other to flinch.
As good as Sugano has been, I’ll admit that I’m a bit wary of spending big money on foreign pitchers. I think I have Daisuke Matsuzaka to blame for that. On the other hand, we saw Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara both shine with the Red Sox. Same for Hideo Nomo in the early 2000s. Had the price been a little more team-friendly then I wouldn’t have been as concerned but if Sugano wants that big payday then someone else can write the check.
Chaim Bloom is no doubt working towards making this team better than the one he fielded in 2020. If he is able to sign either Kluber or Odorizzi, maybe even both, then losing out on Sugano and some of the other names they’ve been linked to won’t sting as much. Spring training is approaching quickly though and the team needs to start adding so we don’t run into another disaster as we had this year.