The Red Sox could avoid damaging, long term contracts to starting pitchers, suggests Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. There are as many as seven or eight high quality hurlers on the trade market with one year of club control. Boston can trade from its depth to acquire one of those names – like Jeff Samardzija – rather than commit big money to Jon Lester or assume Cole Hamels’ contract.
- Along a similar vein, the Red Sox don’t need Lester, writes Tony Massarotti of Boston.com. The Sox do need pitching and Lester is one of the best starters available. But the market is flooded with great substitutes. If the bidding on Lester goes beyond a reasonable comfort zone, why not look at a more affordable alternative?
- The Pirates have at least $15MM to spend and would like to add a starting pitcher, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Gerrit Cole, A.J. Burnett, and Vance Worley are the current rotation members with Charlie Morton expected to open the season on the disabled list. The club recently added Clayton Richard on a minor league deal for depth, and Pittsburgh is expected to finalize a deal with Radhames Liz soon. Both are viewed as insurance rather than an opening day rotation candidate. The club is keeping close tabs on Francisco Liriano and would like to re-sign him.
- Didi Gregorius might not have the right psychology to thrive with the Yankees, opines Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. McManaman spoke with a scout and ex-teammate who both said Gregorius can let things get to him. In the New York pressure cooker, that could be a problem. McManaman also criticizes Gregorius’ bat, but I’m more optimistic on that count. He hits relatively well (for a shortstop) against right-handed pitchers and his defense easily makes up for his other offensive shortcomings. He’s demonstrated surprising pop on occasion and a slightly fly-ball centric approach. Those should play very well at Yankee Stadium.
- The A’s have a busy offseason ahead of them, writes Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area. Traditionally, they use the Winter Meetings to lay groundwork for future trades. A deal involving Brandon Moss is already in the works, and Samardzija is expected to receive plenty of attention. Oakland would like to find a shortstop with one of those two players. They may turn to the free agent market to add a right-handed reliever. Buy low candidates like Jason Grilli, Casey Janssen, Francisco Rodriguez, and Rafael Soriano fit the club’s modus operandi.