Red Sox front office needs to be strategic with Jesús Luzardo trade rumors

Boston needs a left-handed starter, but the Marlins could be asking for too much.
Sep 11, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Miami Marlins pitcher Jesus Luzardo (44) throws a pitch
Sep 11, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Miami Marlins pitcher Jesus Luzardo (44) throws a pitch / Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox went into this offseason promising to pursue starting pitching to bolster its current rotation. Boston's current list of starters consists of only right-handers, and there are multiple left-handed options on the market that could take the Sox's rotation to the next level.

Miami Marlins starter Jesús Luzardo is one of the lefty options Boston has considered pursuing, per reports. However, if they are planning to make any offers for Luzardo, the Red Sox should exercise serious caution.

Luzardo would be a good fit for Boston's current rotation. He would add some diversity to the Sox's staff in terms of his pitch mix. The Red Sox starters are, for the most part, slider- and sinker-heavy — the starter who throws his fastball the most is Kutter Crawford at a 39% rate. Luzardo throws his fastball 46% of the time, and it racks up big swings and misses.

Luzardo is coming off his first true full season of work, and his results were impressive. He made 32 starts and recorded 208 strikeouts in 178.2 innings with a 3.58 ERA.

Should the Red Sox pursue Jesús Luzardo in a trade with the Marlins?

Since 2023 was Luzardo's first season of a full starter's workload, it's safe to say this would be a gamble. After getting rid of a chronically injured player like Chris Sale, taking on another could be a liability for the Sox. Luzardo has seen multiple stints on the IL, from lat strains to forearm strains to fracturing a pinky finger while playing video games. Luzardo's injury history is deep.

Luzardo will also not come at a small price. With three years of team control attached, the Marlins will be asking for a lot in exchange for the young lefty. And after he racked up 208 strikeouts for the Fish in 2023, they should. They know what they're doing here.

But it doesn't make sense for Boston to give up multiple top prospects — which the Marlins said they'd be looking for — to secure a starting pitcher with longevity issues when there are free-agent options available. At the time of publication, Shōta Imanaga, Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell are all still available without the cost of sacrificing the future.

Just by looking at his stuff, one could argue that Luzardo would fit in well with the Red Sox's current rotation. But with the price that Boston would need to pay for him and the troubling injury history attached, it doesn't seem worth it to pursue him at this stage.

More Red Sox reads: