One issue continuing to make it’s way around Red Sox discussions is the addition of pitching. It is unclear what the Sox’s plans are to bolster their bullpen and rotation. It seems inevitable that the Red Sox will add another pitcher, but the question is of what caliber. Unconventionally, the Sox’s last 3 pitching additions have been players of relatively low caliber. As an example, Daniel Gossett, a recent signee, has a career WAR of -0.7 and a career ERA of 5.91. Another addition, Matt Andriese, had a 2020 WAR of 0.6, along with an ERA of 4.50. Andriese’s ties to Tampa Bay and Chaim Bloom are probably the reason for his signing. The Sox also claimed Garrett Whitlock in the Rule 5 Draft, who has not reached the majors. These pitchers are not the big splashes most fans are hoping to see.
Top Pitching Options for the Red Sox to Add
The Red Sox are interested in multiple free-agent pitchers, according to multiple sources. The best out of these pitchers is former Twins and Rays, P Jake Odorizzi. Due to a chest injury sustained from a comebacker on the mound, Odorizzi only posted 4 appearances in 2020. Still, Odorizzi has had some quality years, including an All-Star season in 2019. Compared to that of the Sox’s previous additions, his career WAR and ERA are much better. This move also makes the most sense given Odorizzi’s time in Tampa under Chaim Bloom. In all, Odorizzi is the most obvious option for the Sox to bolster their rotation, but who knows if he will end up in Boston.
Another option, as previously covered, is Corey Kluber. When compared to Odorizzi, Kluber is more of a risk. But in fairness, they are both returning from injuries. Kluber is older, but there’s really no harm in bringing him in for the right price. The Red Sox clearly need all the help they can get in the realm of pitching. Also, I think it’s fair to say Red Sox fans would prefer to not see players like Ryan Weber and Kyle Hart be rotation starters.
The Red Sox’s bullpen is also in need of additions. One pitcher rumored to be drawing the Sox’s interest is Alex Colomé. Colomé would still be a formidable arm in the Sox bullpen, but he is years removed from his stellar 2016 All-Star season. It is also notable that Colomé could take on a closer role, having lead the league in saves in 2017. Colomé has shown a little regression, but in his 21 appearances in 2020, Colomé posted a 0.81 ERA. In summary, the Red Sox should jump on this signing while they have the chance, as any extra bullpen arms can’t hurt.
The Red Sox aren’t linked to any other relievers, but there are many available. Some more enticing options include Brad Hand, Ken Giles, Kirby Yates, and Joakim Soria. By no means will the Red Sox sign all of these players, but adding one of them would drastically increase confidence in the often unreliable bullpen. The Sox could also use a defined closer, as Matt Barnes was not the best in the late innings in 2020.
However, one thing is for sure. In comparison to 2020, the 2021 Red Sox will be much better coached. Ron Roenicke, who was, in fairness, thrown into the position, made some questionable managerial and personnel decisions throughout 2020. It will be nice to have a dugout presence to be confident in once again under Cora. And for now, in the dog days of the MLB Offseason, all we can do is continue to speculate.