Red Sox fans wish for an impact starting pitcher
Watching Eduardo Rodriguez leave for Detroit didn’t seem to sting Red Sox fans initially. Health concerns and inconsistency in recent years made a long term deal for the soon to be 29-year-old lefty seem like more of a gamble than his overall performance in Boston would suggest. However, his departure left a mid-rotation sized hole on a starting staff that already lacked depth heading into the offseason.
While the front office hasn’t made any splashy moves prior to the lockout, they did address the rotation depth with the signings of Rich Hill, Michael Wacha, and James Paxton. All come with their own set of concerns.
Hill, at 41, isn’t likely to be expected to pitch a full season. Wacha, still just 30 years old, is 6 seasons removed from his lone All-Star appearance, and injuries and ineffectiveness have seen him in more of a bullpen role in recent seasons. Paxton, who’s long shown glimpses of a frontline starter, has dealt with arm issues throughout his career, and is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery and not expected back until mid-season. Each of those signings provide depth, but none are looked at to fill the role of No. 3 starter on the staff.
To date, Chiam Bloom has stayed away from the top-tier free agent signing since his tenure began after the 2019 season. That trend continued during the beginning weeks of free agency earlier this offseason. The Sox stood pat as big names like Max Scherzer, Marcus Stroman, Jon Gray, and Kevin Gausman, and Robbie Ray signed lucrative free agent deals.
While most of the top tier starters have come off the board, big names like Clayton Kershaw and Zack Grenkie, as well as high quality mid-rotation starters like Danny Duffy remain should Boston look to fortify the starting staff through free agency.
Bloom also has a highly rated farm system deep in position player talent should he choose to trade for a younger, more affordable starter in lieu of what remains on the free agent market.