Brian Hines (Contributing Writer)
The Red Sox need help all over the field, but they desperately need pitching. They need aces to closers and everything in between. We have money to spend (big surprise) and theres a number of valuable guys available throughout trade or in the free agent market. So lets jump right in to the 2016 rotation and bullpen prediction.
Starting Rotation 1. David Price
Price is the guy the Red Sox need to lead their rotation Source: http://www.businessinsider.com
This years starting pitchers in free agency is strong. Guys like Price, Zimmerman and Cueto headline a deep class. Its the perfect time for these guys to hit the market as the Sox are in desperate need of an ace like these guys. Guys like Chris Sale and Sonny Gray are also being linked to the Red Sox through trade, but trading 2-3 top prospects would probably be involved. Im fully prepared for the Red Sox to give one of the free agent guys a mega $200 million dollar deal, maybe even more. So out of all these guys, why Price? One reason is Price is the youngest and one of the most durable. He starts next season at 30, and has proven he can stay healthy. Also and more importantly, Price has played out all of his career in the American League, most of it coming in the AL East. He's proved he can succeed in the American League unlike a guy like Cueto. Although Price and the Red Sox haven't gotten along in the past, $200 million can easily turn that frown upside down. Price is the perfect guy to lead this rotation next season.
2. Clay Buchholz
As much as you don't want to see this name here, he'll be here. If Clay come snack at the end of this season and proves he's healthy, he'll certainly be back. Although if you look at Buchholz's production before the injury, he was pitching well. He had his ERA down to 3.26 with 7 wins and also struck out 8.5 batters per 9 innings. Clay has proved he can pitch efficiently, but health is the concern. I see the Sox picking up Buchholz's 13 million club option, but it could very well go down hill and be his last season in Boston. The Sox need to make sure they have some backup for Clay if (when?) he gets injured again. I see that coming in prospect Henry Owens or Steven Wright, who have both pitched nicely as of late.
3. Eduardo Rodriguez
Trading Andrew Miller for Eduardo looks like one of the best moves the Red Sox have made in the past two years. Rodriguez has had his rough games, leading to the 4.83 ERA, but has had games that show how good of a pitcher he could be. Out of his 14 starts, Rodriguez has given up 2 runs or fewer in 9 of those. Thats pretty good for a 22 year old rookie. Rodriguez looks like the real deal who could take a major jump in year 2.
4. Rick Porcello
Another name Red Sox Nation isn't very excited about. After trading Yoenis Cespedes for Porcello, the Sox had high hopes for him. But he hasn't succeeded, at all. Porcello only has won 5 games and has a pitiful 5.81 ERA, and he's pitched in 20 games. To make things better, the Red Sox gave him a big $70 million dollar contract, early in the season. As this contract almost makes him immovable, the Sox have to hope for a rebound.
5. Wade Miley
Miley was another name the Sox brought in through trade in the offseason. He hasn't been great this year as he supports a 4.68 ERA, but he's had his strong games. Im perfectly fine giving Miley the 5 position in the rotation as he'll give you a solid amount of quality innings. And lets remember, Miley was an all-star his rookie year. In his second year in Boston. lets hope Miley can get back to his all-star days.
Some new faces here some old. Either way the Red Sox need bullpen help. With Koji coming into next season at 41, coming off wrist surgery, who knows what to expects. After trading for Papelbon, my guess is the Nationals would listen to offers for Storen, who's struggled since being demoted. The Sox could use a guy like him to take over the closer role. Before he was demoted to the set-up man, Storen piled up 29 saves while keeping the ERA south of 2.50. Although Chapman and Kimbrel have been talk about, Storen is just as effective with a much lower price tag. If Storen is acquired, Koji could take the 8th and Tazawa would man the 7th. Pretty solid back end of the bullpen.
Joe Kelly is a old name to Red Sox fans, but new name in the bullpen. Kelly has always been a starter here in Boston but needs to be converted into a reliever quickly. Kelly has been ineffective this year, and theres no room for him in the rotation next season. So why not try him in the pen. He's proved he can be effective at times, so he could add valuable depth to the bullpen.
Wright could be in contention for the teams 6th starter and is wanted in the organization. He's not the best reliever in the game but can get the job done. He'll mostly be here to take over in the rotation if someone goes down.
Furbush is the newest name to Red Sox fans. The first 5 people on this list are right handers. The Sox need some left handed relievers. Furbush to the Sox isn't a new thing, as its been rumored before. The Sox should definitely consider it as left-handed hitters has had a .484 OPS against Furbush since 2014. Out of all left handed relievers, that ranks sixth. I wouldn't be surprised if the Sox make a move to acquire a lefty like Furbush, and maybe even bring in another lefty or two as well.
Thoughts or comments? Let me know below or on twitter @jonlestersghost