Where Will the Red Sox Turn Next For Starting Pitching?


The Red Sox are in need of starting pitching heading into the regular season.  The team currently stands to have Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Martin Perez in the rotation.  The concern there is two of those starters, Sale and Eovaldi, spent significant time on the IL last season. 

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Sale who came into camp battling pneumonia, will start the season on the IL so he can get extra time before joining the Red Sox.  While he shouldn’t miss too much time, it’s an inconvenience for a team that will need to rely on its ace all season long. 

With Sale on the IL, the rotation needs help.  The Red Sox have reportedly have been in the market for additional starting pitching.  The free agents remaining are underwhelming, and arguably what they have in camp is better. 

But news coming out of camp is that Sale is now going to have an MRI because he has a sore left elbow.  The MRI results are being sent to Dr. James Andrews and the collective hearts in Red Sox Nation wait for the inevitable news.  It just feels like Tommy John surgery is looming around the corner. 

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But news out of Spring Training is that Sale has a flexor strain and can begin to throw again next week. 

The Red Sox did agree to terms with former Astros righty Collin McHugh, who will more than assume the role of an opener or the pitcher who comes in to relive the opener.  If he’s healthy he can be a weapon for the Red Sox.  However, that is a big if regarding McHugh. 

Ryan Weber could get the nod in the rotation while Sale is on the IL, and then shift to the fifth spot after that.  Weber appeared in only 18 games for Boston last season, three of which were starts. 

The club could use the opener which Tampa Bay has done successfully the last few seasons.  The opener in Boston just hides the fact this team lacks depth in the rotation. 

This week Bloom presented the opener concept to interim manager Ron Roenicke and the team.  I imagine Bloom educating the team on the opener similar to Matt Damon’s math problem scene from Good Will Hunting. 

The Red Sox have a lot of innings to fill.  The thought of an opener leaves the fan base a little uneasy.  But if it worked in Tampa Bay, can it work here in Boston?

The team has about $13 million they can spend to add to the rotation.  Bloom could swing a trade, but what team is willing to trade starting pitching this early in Spring Training? 

They could try and complete the trade with San Diego and acquire righty Cal Quantrill and outfielder Wil Myers.  But that deal looks like it’s less likely to happen at the moment. 

A team the Red Sox could turn to is the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherrington is now in charge of the baseball operation in Pittsburgh.  Bloom could try and acquire right hander Chris Archer from the rebuilding Bucs. 

At his best, Archer was a dominating starter with the Rays, mowing down batters with his four-seam fastball.  Then Archer went to Pittsburgh and he hasn’t been the same pitcher. 

Archer adopted a sinker in Pittsburgh and it changed his pitching style, for the worse. In 23 games last season, Arched was 3-9 with a 5.19 ERA. His ERA jumped over a run and half with the Pirates. 

The Red Sox could get Archer on the cheap from a salary perspective.  He’s only owed $9 million this season and has an $11 million dollar club option for next season.  The Red Sox could take on his whole salary in the hopes to reduce the amount to give up to Cherrington. 

The Red Sox have also been linked to Ervin Santana, who is currently a free agent. One had to wonder what the 37-year old has left in the tank to offer? Santana has thrown only 38 innings total over the last two seasons. Finger surgery limited Santana in 2018 - he posted a 9.45 ERA over only 13 1/3 innings for the White Sox.

Whatever the team decides, the fate of this team will rest solely on its starting pitching.  Hopefully Bloom can find the depth to round out the roster or this opener business can truly work here in Boston. 

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Where Will the Red Sox Turn Next For Starting Pitching?
Where Will the Red Sox Turn Next For Starting Pitching?
Boston Sports Syndicate
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