Red Sox Offseason: We Need Arms
By Peter Santo
It needs to be all hands, or rather, all arms, on deck for the Red Sox this offseason. New President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has a history of being aggressive in the past, and look for 2015 to be no different.
There are a number of pitchers available on both the free agent and trade market, and so far the Red Sox have been mentioned as possible suitors for almost all available pitchers. Among those available include names such as David Price, Johnny Cueto, Jose Fernandez, Jordan Zimmermann, and many others.
But the Sox aren’t just searching for starting pitching. According to The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham, the Red Sox are planning to be “aggressive” in their pursuit of Reds flamethrower Aroldis Chapman.
Price, Cueto, and Zimmermann are free agents and can be had at a price that will likely make Red Sox owner John Henry cringe given the offer he refused to match for Jon Lester last offseason.
Instead of signing Jon Lester, the Red Sox gave the money that should’ve been Lester’s to Wade Miley, Rick Porcello, and Justin Masterson. How’d that work out? Oh yeah, the Red Sox finished with a team ERA of 4.31, good for 14th in the AL.
Henry attempted to rationalize letting Lester go by saying that the contract was not worth it for a pitcher in his 30s. Well John, David Price is 30 years old, Johnny Cueto is 29 years old. If the 2015 season didn’t prove that you need an ace to win, then I don’t know what will.
The Red Sox appeared to be modeling their pitching staff after the 2015 World Champion Kansas City Royals, however they forgot two things, an ace, and a ridiculously hard throwing bullpen. Those are pretty big pieces for building a championship contender.
The Red Sox need pitching, and they need to spend money in order to do so. They’ve built a nice stockpile of prospects over the last few years, but it’s time to turn those prospects into superstars. Eduardo Rodriguez and Henry Owens looked decent last year, but they aren’t anywhere near the level of Chris Sale, Jose Fernandez or other superstar pitchers on the trade market.
The money should be no issue, baseball has no salary cap, TV contracts are huge these days. Become the Yankees, spend the money. It will be worth it.
The Red Sox went all out with a similar strategy in 2011, and they were the best team in the Major Leagues for most of that season. Yes, they did choke down the stretch, and they cleaned house in response. But they went too far in the opposite direction, you can’t win in this league without a superstar, and the Sox are missing their superstar.