Red Sox should target Marcus Stroman to complete the starting rotation

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 21: Marcus Stroman #0 of the New York Mets pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park on September 21, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 21: Marcus Stroman #0 of the New York Mets pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park on September 21, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /

The Red Sox must ink Marcus Stroman right away

We’re officially in the holiday shopping season and the Hot Stove is going into overdrive. With CBA expiring just before tomorrow night at midnight, teams and players are signing deals at a rapid pace in order to lock in their futures before the pending lockout goes into effect. The Red Sox have been incredibly quiet up to this point and with plenty of big names leaving the free-agent board, they can’t afford to wait as time runs out.

We all knew going into this offseason that the Red Sox would heavily target pitching for both ends of the ballgame but with Eduardo Rodriguez leaving for Detroit, the rotation must be the focus. The market for starting pitchers was going to be deep this winter but the names aren’t all flashy.

Max Scherzer was the top prize this winter and earlier today he sized a massive contract with the Mets. For me, he was never an option for Boston but another big name definitely is, Marcus Stroman.

Stroman has more than plenty of experience pitching at Fenway Park as he has spent almost all of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays, and during his stint with the Mets this past season he made a trip to Boston. In my eyes, he’s a strong fit for this club as he has the personality to gel with the current roster while also being a hyper-competitive player that won’t take a night off.

Just under a week, ago the Red Sox were named as one of the teams in on Stroman and with the current hecticness of the league, it’s time to strike. Of course, Chaim Bloom and his team can still make the moves they want once the labor stoppage is over but by then it’s hard to tell who will still be available. He won’t be able to do any negotiating during that window and teams are gobbling up free agents like crazy.

I haven’t hidden my desire to bring Stro to Boston despite a chunk of the fanbase being totally against it. The right-hander is primarily known as a groundball pitcher and with the current state of the Red Sox infield defense, that could spell disaster. However, there have also been reports linking the Sox to Javier Baez, an addition that would instantly ramp up and correct the defensive woes.

Bringing in both Stroman and Baez could be a perfect one-two punch for the Red Sox as it gives them a strong second base option and a reliable starter to fill in the rotation. It also keeps a pair of teammates together that have a chemistry that will further connect with the culture Alex Cora has created in Boston. Stroman needs to be the priority though as the team’s pitching was their ultimate downfall this season and can’t be overlooked with bargain barrel signings.

The righty earned $18.9M this past season in the Big Apple and that salary could be keeping Chaim away from making a deal. Bloom was brought here to build a winner while keeping the budget in the black, something his predecessors didn’t always do. The thing is, FSG literally just bought the Pittsburgh Penguins so if they try and limit what Chaim can do financially, it’ll just be another red mark on their record with the Fenway Faithful.

Spotrac has the righty at an estimated market value of 4-years/$84M and that $21M AAV might be too rich for Boston’s blood. We have to remember that under Chaim the Red Sox haven’t spent much money and have kept annual salaries relatively below $10M per year. The thing is, Stroman is a pitcher of a different caliber. We’re not dealing with Garrett Richards here. I can guarantee Stro won’t forget to pack his jacket for the early parts of the season.

As we get closer to tomorrow night’s deadline more and more free agents will be flying off of the board and Chaim will need to act. The Red Sox have very clear needs that have to be addressed this winter and signing Marcus Stroman is the first step in the right direction. Adding a strong infielder to help the defense and counter his groundball style of work will only make Boston more of a threat in 2022. Hopefully, we see the Sox linked to some names before 11:59 tomorrow night, or else it may be one cold winter.

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