How are the Red Sox offseason pitching misses performing early in the season?

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Consider the possibilities that could have unfolded for the Boston Red Sox with a few strategic moves that prioritized pitching. The Red Sox staff has made waves, ranking a solid second in MLB pitching stats, according to FanGraphs. Pitching, often seen as a potential weak spot, is now a stronghold for the team. 

Boston dabbled in free-agent adventurism by signing righty Lucas Giolito, but the righty was promptly placed on the injured list with a season-ending ailment. Giolito will take his $18 million for his recovery process. 

The big catch in the pitching kerfuffle was right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who signed with the Dodgers for 12 years $325 million, and Craig Breslow was left to explain away another Red Sox whiff. Yamamoto has proven to be the real deal — he's posted a 2.92 ERA and fanned 42 batters in 34 innings.

The trade winds blew through Boston for a spell, and rumors included two righties with exceptional talent in Tyler Glasnow and Corbin Burnes. Both would be considered aces, and both would have resulted in Boston shedding prospects. Glasnow (5-1, 2.72 ERA) is with the Dodgers, and Burnes (3-1, 2.61 ERA) is with the Orioles. 

How are the Red Sox's offseason pitching whiffs performing early in the 2024 season?

The Red Sox were supposedly close to signing another righty, Seth Lugo, who went to the Royals. Yes, the Royals beat out the Red Sox. Lugo (5-1, 1.60 ERA) signed for three years at $45 million.

Boston has a history with right-hander Michael Wacha, who the Royals also grabbed. Wacha went 11-2 for Boston in 2022 and followed that up with 14-4 record with the Padres. The Royals dished out a two-year, $32 million deal, but Wacha has struggled going 1-4 with a 5.50 ERA.

Then there is the one who got away. Lefty Shōta Imanga (5-0, 0.78 ERA), who recently mesmerized the Red Sox at Fenway Park and was a fallback target after Yamamoto. Imanga signed for four years at $53 million, and so far, he's been an even smarter investment for the Cubs than Yamamoto would've been.

The Red Sox also may have had minor interest in two former left-handers, Eduardo Rodríguez and James Paxton. E-Rod signed an excellent four-year, $80 million deal with the D-backs and is on the 60-day IL. Paxton (3-0, 3.51 ERA) has an incentive-loaded one-year agreement.

They say "hindsight is 20/20" for a reason. Making the correct choices is difficult when it comes to signing pitchers, and Boston made a wrong one with Giolito, but it survived and prospered. The wrong choice usually comes down to an injury, Giolito and Rodríguez are prime examples, and the right choices are just the opposite. 

The players mentioned could have fit into the Red Sox payroll structure, even Yamamoto. The Red Sox had the talent and money to absorb Glasnow, Burnes, or even both. Now, all Red Sox Nation can do is sit back and hope the staff maintains its performance levels.

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