The Red Sox‘s options are somewhat limited as they look to acquire a top starting pitcher this winter, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald writes. Boston doesn’t have the assets to swing a deal for White Sox ace Chris Sale, Sonny Gray of the A’s, or any of the Mets’ elite arms. The farm system won’t yield them a star pitcher right now, either. That, of course, leaves only free agency and Boston has never gotten ace on the open market before.
Still, it’s not as though the Red Sox haven’t spent big on pitching in the past. In 2010, the Red Sox signed John Lackey to a five-year, $82.5MM deal, though Silverman notes that he was more though of as a No. 2 pitcher to go alongside Jon Lester. In 2007, the Red Sox paid $103MM to land Daisuke Matsuzaka on a six-year deal, but that was via the NPB posting system and not traditional free agency.
Here’s more out of the AL East:
- The Orioles continue to have interest in a reunion with outfielder L.J. Hoes, who was designated for assignment on Friday by the Astros, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes. The O’s traded Hoes to Houston in July 2013 as a part of a package to land pitcher Bud Norris and while Hoes hasn’t really thrived since then, Baltimore apparently believes that a homecoming could chance that. Hoes appeared in only eight games for the Astros in 2015, but he slashed .295/.383/.400 for their Triple-A affiliate. All told, the 25-year-old owns a .237/.289/.328 batting line over 337 MLB plate appearances. Hoes has, however, shown some speed and on-base ability at the Triple-A level.
- The Orioles are said to be discussing outfielder Jay Bruce with the Reds, although it doesn’t sound like anything is imminent at this time. Kubatko writes that this isn’t the first time the two sides have discussed a Bruce deal and, in the past, the O’s have had concerns about Bruce’s left knee.
- The Rays jettisoned catcher J.P. Arencibia, outfielder Daniel Nava, and righties Brandon Gomes and Kirby Yates from the 40-man roster last week in an effort to protect their top young arms in the Rule 5 draft. It’s a move that Rays president Matt Silverman feels will expand his options as he talks trade with clubs this winter. “We’re having conversations out of a position of strength given the pitching depth that we have and look forward to seeing how the rest of the offseason unfolds,” Silverman said, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.