Could the Red Sox swipe John Means from the Orioles?
Going into this offseason we knew that the Red Sox would be shopping for some starting pitching and now that Eduardo Rodriguez is in Detroit, that need is even greater. As it stands right now, Boston has a righty heavy rotation but a very interesting report came out earlier today that could allow Chaim Bloom to bring a bit more balance to his pitching staff.
This morning ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted that he had heard from teams around the league that the Baltimore Orioles may be shopping John Means. Olney goes on to say that with Means being due around $3M in arbitration this winter, that’s apparently too rich for the O’s. For the Red Sox, this is the stars aligning in a way I’m sure they never thought possible.
That potential $3M price tag for the lefty is more than in the budget for the Red Sox and Chaim Bloom should be driving to Baltimore as I write this. We know about Boston’s history with making deals on Thanksgiving and I think it’d be in their best interest to start talking turkey with the Orioles. Of course, this could all just be smoke with no fire but it would be right in line with how the O’s do business. The Oakland A’s of the East Coast.
So what could Means bring to the Red Sox? The big southpaw just completed his fourth year in MLB and saw one of the best seasons of his short career. Normally I would include a pitcher’s record when I break down their stats, but we all know that pitching for the Orioles didn’t help him out in that area. Despite that, he did finish with a 3.62 ERA, 1.030 WHIP, and 134 strikeouts in 146.2 innings. I’ll gladly take that at the end of our rotation.
Contractually speaking, Means checks most of Bloom’s boxes as he’s under team control until 2025 and is just 28 years old. While he’ll see some raises through arbitration it won’t come anywhere close to having to pay a pitcher through free agency. Getting a guy who can anchor the rotation and swing it back to the big dogs at the top is exactly what we need going forward, and having him be a lefty is just a cherry on the sundae.
Now, we have to look at what Bloom and the Red Sox could give up in order to get the lefty here. Considering the trading partner is the Orioles I honestly don’t think it would take much. If they really are floating him around the league due to the fact he has a $3M price tag on him should make this more than easy for the King of Trades, Chaim Bloom. This could also line up perfectly with the Rule-5 Draft coming up as Boston has guys they surely don’t want to lose for free.
Boston chose to protect some of their bigger named prospects ahead of the Rule-5 Draft but with only so many spots available, several are left unprotected. Baltimore is big on prospects and not so much on expensive players so this could be a win-win for both sides. Chaim could send a package highlighted by a Thad Ward, Kole Cottam, or Durbin Feltman with a few lesser developed players in order to bring Means to Fenway Park.
We all know how good Chaim Bloom is when it comes to the trade department and he could easily fleece the Orioles. Give them a shiny prospect with one or two that they have no plans for and in return get a Major League experienced lefty with plenty of control left. Smells like a delicious recipe to me. As of now, it’s all rumors but this time of year it doesn’t take much for a rumor to grow into reality.
Getting a trade done with a divisional rival isn’t always easy but this one makes too much sense for both sides. It’s hard to predict what this offseason will look like, especially once the lockout takes over, so teams could be more desperate than usual. This leaves the door wide open for the Red Sox to get one of their needs taken care of without breaking the bank, have to love it. Hopefully, Chaim will take a page out of one of his predecessor’s books and get the deal done over a nice peace of pie.