It is no secret that the Boston Red Sox pitching struggled this past season. Their staff combined for an atrocious 5.58 ERA, which was “good” for third-worst in the MLB. The Sox also had a league-worst 1.60 WHIP. So in any given inning, it was more than likely Boston’s pitching staff was going to let at least two guys reach base.
Now, there are some built in excuses for why the staff did so poorly. Chris Sale was out for the entire season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Eduardo Rodriguez had to sit out 2020 due to a heart issue stemming from his contraction of the coronavirus. Still, that doesn’t excuse the fact that the team with one of the highest payrolls in baseball continued trotting bum after bum to the pitching mound.
Red Sox 2020 Drinking Game: chug a beer every time someone says, “No, seriously, who’s pitching? I’ve never heard of this guy before. I feel like you’re just making names up now.”
— Fitzy (@FitzyGFY) July 28, 2020
Clearly ownership has taken notice of this. It has been reported by multiple people that the team is looking to upgrade its staff.
Feinsand reports that the Red Sox are one of the few teams that are pushing the hardest for pitching in the market.
— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) December 2, 2020
Now, the free agent market for starting pitchers this winter is not a particularly strong one, but there is still one very big fish out in the pond. That fish? Trevor Bauer.
Bauer is coming off of the best season of his career. He won the National League Cy Young Award with the Cincinnati Reds. And with him being a free agent for the very first time at 29-years-old, you can bet on Bauer wanting to receive that once in a lifetime contract. Just don’t expect that contract to come from Boston.
Don’t get me wrong, Bauer would be a great fit at the top of Boston’s rotation. Frankly, he would fit well with any team. Be that as it may, the idea that Boston would be willing to hand over a long, expensive contract to Bauer is somewhat lunacy.
Boston has been hampered more than any team over their misuse of money over the past 10 years. Contracts to Pablo Sandoval, Carl Crawford, and Hanley Ramirez (to name a few) didn’t really work out.
This mismanagement of money eventually got them to the point were they had to trade a home-grown former MVP in outfielder Mookie Betts in order to avoid the luxury tax threshold. So with that being said, don’t expect them to just reinvest money into a starting pitcher like Bauer.
That is even evident in the fact that the Sox have been linked to a few starting pitchers who aren’t even close to being in the same boat as Bauer. So far this offseason, Boston has been linked to three guys: Corey Kluber, J.A. Happ, and Charlie Morton.
Sources: Red Sox aggressively pursued Charlie Morton before he signed with the Braves and are believed to have made a competitive offer.
Ultimately, he wanted to remain close to his FL home and chose the Braves.https://t.co/q0bZPcacEZ
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 2, 2020
So if the Sox are to sign a starter, expect them to go after a veteran with upside. Someone who won’t demand a contract with a length over three years. A pitcher who may cost some money, but a guy that won’t put a ton of financial pressure on the team. Bauer doesn’t fit into that category, so Sox fans: dont get your hopes up.
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– Jarrod Ribaudo (@jarrod_ribaudo)
Featured image courtesy of Twitter / @mlbtraderumors