Red Sox Hot Stove Targets: Sean Manaea replaces Eduardo Rodriguez in the rotation

Couch Guy Sports will go through the many questions facing the Red Sox in a series of Hot Stove Targets articles looking at the many players who could be with the club next season.

The World Series hasn’t even ended and the Major League Baseball Hot Stove is heating up. Particularly for the Red Sox who will surely be active to improve their team that was two wins away from the Fall Classic.

Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom has many decisions facing his roster. One is to improve their starting pitching. While Bloom can look to the free agent market at the likes of Marcus Stroman, I want to pursue a trade. 

Red Sox SHOULD acquire Sean Manaea

Eduardo Rodriguez is a free agent and could be tendered a qualifying offer. If Rodriguez leaves Boston, Bloom should reach out to Oakland and land left-hander Sean Manaea.

The A’s lefty is coming off an 11-10 season where he made a career high 32 starts. Manaea ended the season with a 3.91 ERA, two complete games and a 1.227 WHIP.

Manaea biggest asset on the bump is his ability to be deceptive. His ability to be deceptive on the mound allows him to hide the ball longer. He offers a four-pitch mix, fastball, slider, changeup and sinker. His fastball is a plus pitch and has had success when he elevates the ball. Manaea gets himself into trouble when the ball is left low in the zone. 

Last offseason, I felt that Manaea could have been a trade candidate for Boston. This winter makes more sense for Bloom and the Red Sox.

Entering this winter, Manaea will be eligible for arbitration for the final time. The A’s could look to cash in and acquire assets back if Manaea leaves via free agency.

Manaea would be a viable replacement for Rodriguez if he moves on this winter. Rodriguez will have some suitors, including one team in the AL West, the Los Angeles Angels.

What’s the cost for Sean Manaea?

Boston’s farm system has vastly improved since last season. Bloom has additional pieces in the cupboard to trade to Billy Beane out in Oakland.

What would a package for Manaea possibly even look like? The Red Sox could start be featuring a deal headlined by Jay Groome. The former first-round pick could be an option for the Sox bullpen next season. Groome re-established himself as a top prospect for Boston last season.

After recovering from Tommy John surgery and a slow start to last season, Groome excelled to finish the year. In 21 starts, the lefty posted a 4.81 ERA with 134 strikeouts in 97 ⅓ innings.

Bloom would have to add additional prospects to this package to land the lefty. Let’s be honest, the Red Sox have the ability to trade prospects to land Manaea. However, Manaea would come at a cheaper cost than Chris Bassitt who has become a true ace for the A’s.


Image courtesy of Action Network

The Red Sox have some internal options for their rotation with Garrett Whitlock, Tanner Houck and Connor Seabold. Whitlock feels like the only one that should be penciled into the rotation for next season.

Manaea was able to stay healthy for the entire season which has been a challenge over his career. One thing Manaea focused on this season was trusting himself and what he offers on the mound. 

“The biggest thing is just believing that I’m nasty,” said Manaea back in February, “I feel like I’m too nice — sometimes too nice too easygoing when I need to maybe hype myself up. Those kinds of things — honestly believing that I have disgusting stuff and I need to believe that, and use that. I don’t want to be verbal — just how I carry myself on the mound is just like — like I internally believe it, I guess expressing that. It’s a weird dynamic.”

Manaea would slot nicely in the rotation behind Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi. If Rodriguez returns then Manaea makes no sense.

– Chris Henrique (@ChrisHenrique on Twitter)

Feature image courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle

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