I know it’s hard to believe, but the Red Sox have signed two (2!) free agents in the past 24 hours. The latest signing is starting pitcher Garrett Richards.
Garrett Richards’ Potential
Sox fans may remember Richards, who suffered an unfortunate knee injury at Fenway Park in 2014. Richards was on pace for a nice season in 2014 but finished 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA. Richards has been pitching in a relatively low number of games following his 32 game 2015 campaign.
Despite this, I think Richards mightily improves the Sox’s rotation. If he can get even close to his 2014-15 form, his consistency and serviceability will be incredibly valuable.
This success hinges on Garrett Richards’ general health. If he stays healthy, he could easily become the Sox’s number 3 or 4 starter. I’d assume the Sox expect this out of Richards, given that his deal is worth 10 million over 1 year. This deal is similar to Corey Kluber’s deal with the Yankees. Considering this, one can assume the Sox are expecting similar production from Richards.
What this deal means for the remainder of the Red Sox Offseason
With their 2 deals so far, the Sox have sured up their second base position and added a (major league) starting pitcher. If they choose to stay under the luxury tax, the Sox have an estimated 14 million to spend. Assuming this puts a large contract like Marcell Ozuna out of reach, there are still some options for the Sox to add.
If the Red Sox want to add even more rotation depth, options like Rich Hill, Jake Odorizzi (maybe), and Alex Wood are still available.
If they choose to add to the bullpen, there are many options as well. The Sox have been linked to Chicago’s Alex Colomé. In addition, relievers such as Sean Doolittle and Trevor Rosenthal remain available.
Next, adding more offensive talent does not seem like the right move for the Sox at this point. An Andrew Benintendi trade would, however, change that. In that case, the Sox would probably need to add another outfielder, such as Adam Duvall, among other options.
In all, this signing is decent for the Red Sox at face value, but Richards has the potential to make this deal worth it.