Free agent options to shore-up 2023 Boston Red Sox
A healthy Syndergaard could top the rotation for Boston
Noah Syndergaard is a power pitcher who lost his power. Boston fans have seen that with Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Sale, where the fastball takes a siesta. You can go far back to Lefty Grove doing the same, but Lefty shrugged that off and ended up in the HOF.
The speed can be traced (hopefully) to a recovery process from Tommy John Surgery. The control was still present, with Syndergaard tossing a 1.5 BB/9, but his 5.1 K/9 in 2022 is about half of what it was in his first two MLB seasons.
Syndergaard is pegged at 3/36 by MLBTR, which is worth the risk considering this team paid a bundle to James Paxton not to pitch. If this were 2016, the now 30-year-old would be carting cash away in a wheel barrel – a very, very big wheel barrel.
The Red Sox staff is a wreck, and the reliance may be on recovering Sale and Paxton, a rookie of promise, Nick Pivetta, and whoever else they may resign – Eovaldi, Rich Hill, Michael Wacha, and the not-ready-for-prime-time arms.
The Hill, Paxton, and Wacha signings show Chaim Bloom has no issue taking risks and suffering the possible consequences. Syndergaard fits that pattern.
Durable lefty Quintana could be solid rotation insurance for Boston
Lefty José Quintana made 32 starts between Pittsburgh and St. Louis in 2022. Santana appears to be an older and left-handed version of Nick Pivetta. Middle to bottom of the rotation starter capable of getting some innings that could run the gamut from spectacular to horrifying.
Quintana is soft toss material but diligent about giving up the free pass with a career 2.6 BB/9. Last season the 34-year-old also was not a soft touch for the long ball leading the National League with just 0.4 HR/9.
Quintana has four pitches he relies on, and I have often seen batters flustered by his slow curveball and change. A Jamie Moyer with a tad more speed. Quintana exemplifies that a pitcher can be competent without triple digits by moving the ball around, having reasonable control, and trusting your defense – and trusting the Red Sox defense has an element of risk.
Quintana is being listed on 2/24, and that could be seeing a price drop. Even at that price tag, you will get a mild innings eater with 11 years of pitching experience.