With a new front office and new organizational direction, the Red Sox have a number of big decisions to make this winter. What do you do about David Price and Nate Eovaldi’s contracts? Do you re-sign or trade Mookie Betts? How do you replenish the farm system while remaining competitive? And while those are all certainly pressing issues that definitely need addressing, we’re not concerned with that right now. What we are concerned with is how the Red Sox are going to spend their money this offseason. There are holes all over the roster that need addressing and, according to ownership, are somehow very limited funds. If I were Chaim Bloom, this is personally how I would go about this very critical crossroads for the organization.
At the trade deadline, I was screaming from the mountain tops for Dave Dombrowski to somehow trade for Giants closer Will Smith. Alas, they didn’t, but they probably could’ve used the 30-year old lefties expertise. Smith has quietly become one of the most solid relievers in the game over the past 3 or 4 years. Since 2015, Smith has 2.80 ERA with a 1.01 WHIP and a 12.4 K/9 rate. He’s a legit stud. He won’t demand crazy money, and the Red Sox NEED an ace reliever (That will be a common theme here). Put Will Smith’s name down at the top of your list.
While Strop is coming off of an injury-ridden, down year where he had an ERA over 4.00, Pedro Strop might not come to mind when you think of elite setup man. But, between 2014 and 2018, he was one of the most lights out back end arms in the game. Averaging 56 appearances per year, in addition to a 2.61 ERA and a 156 ERA + over that five-year stretch, Strop was instrumental in the Cubs 2016 World Series run. Yes, he is getting up there in age, and yes he is coming off of an injury ridden season, but that just means you can sign him to a one year “prove it” deal. Bloom loved getting underappreciated relievers in Tampa, Boston should be no different.
Hey, it’s the second reliever named Will on this list, isn’t that fun? Before showing up in Houston, Will Harris was a certified nobody. A late 20’s reliever with unremarkable pitches and a shaky track record. Then he got his hands on some of the Astros… uhhh… ‘magic’… and become one of the steadiest relievers in the game. Harris is coming off his best year in Houston yet, posting a 1.50 ERA and a miniscule 0.987 WHIP in 60 appearances, capping off a stellar five year run in H-town where he was THE go-to guy for AJ Hinch. Harris will likely want a good chunk of change for his services, but he has proven that he can be highly effective in a hitters park. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in red and white for next season and beyond.
Finally breaking things up with a non-reliever, Julio Teheran has very subtly built himself into one of the most consistently solid starters in recent memory. Since becoming a full-time starter for the Braves back in 2013, Teheran has never thrown less than 170 innings and has never had an ERA over 4.50. He’s only 28 years old and could conceivably step in and be the Red Sox number three starter next year. We don’t know just yet what Chaim Bloom wants to do about David Price and Nate Eovaldi, but if they are both on the trading block, a durable and proven starter would be the perfect stop-gap for the younger arms on the way. I have always had a fondness for Julio Teheran and very much want to see him in the Red Sox’ rotation next spring.
Simply just another innings eater. Roark, like Teheran, just goes out and pitches well every fifth day with no questions asked. He has made at least 30 starts in 5 out of his 6 professional seasons as a full-time starter and has a career ERA of 3.71. You don’t have to commit multiple years to him, he can simply be a one-and-done deal. But, until the guys like Houck, Mata, and Groome are ready to pitch in the big leagues, you need guys like Roark and Teheran with experience to man the fort. Low value, high ceiling signing.
A gold glove outfielder who hits for power and is used to platooning? The Red Sox may have just found their fourth outfielder/ Backup DH easy as pie. Dickerson has the best season of his career playing for Bloom’s Rays back in 2017, hitting 27 home runs and making the All-Star team before being unceremoniously DFA’d. Perhaps a reunion between the two is just what the 30-year old needs.
These aren’t the only guys I would want the Red Sox to take a look at, these are just the ones I want them to get the most, with HEAVY emphasis on signing Julio Teheran and Will Smith. The list of serviceable MLB free agents who the Red Sox could take a flyer on is endless. A couple of honorable mentions include:
- Eric Thames
- Daniel Hudson
- Dellin Betances
- Michael Wacha
- Jordan Lyles
- Eric Sogard
- Gio Gonzalez
- Kyle Gibson
- Brandon Kintzler
That’s just off the top of my head. This is a key fork in the road for the Red Sox, and they can’t afford to mess it up.
I need a happy summer, please no more of this sucking shit. Put a good freaking team on the field.
Photo via The Boston Herald