The Red Sox are known to be interested in adding to the front of their rotation this winter, though Alex Speier of the Boston Globe suggests that desire could come with a major caveat. Speier relays that the club prefers to avoid signing a player attached to a Qualifying Offer. President of baseball operations Craig Breslow neither confirmed nor denied that preference when asked about it by reporters, acknowledging that while there are instances where a player being attached to draft pick compensation “shouldn’t be an impediment or deterrent,” there are also other situations where a QO could be an obstacle.
Of course, such a preference wouldn’t completely shut the door on a top-of-the-market arm for the Red Sox. Left-hander Jordan Montgomery isn’t attached to draft pick compensation after being dealt from the Cardinals to the Rangers midseason, while posted NPB stars Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shota Imanaga are both free of a qualifying offer as well. With both Sonny Gray and Aaron Nola already having signed long-term deals this offseason, a preference to avoid signing qualified free agents for their rotation would really only take Boston out of the running for left-hander Blake Snell, who rejected a QO from the Padres earlier this offseason. While the Red Sox have also reportedly been connected to two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani this offseason, previous reporting indicates that the club is no longer pursuing the offseason’s top free agent.
More from around MLB’s East divisions…
- On the heels of a report earlier today that the Mariners are among the teams interested in Rays third baseman Isaac Paredes this offseason, Jon Morosi of MLB Network indicates that outfielder Randy Arozarena is also believed to have come up in discussions between the two clubs. There’s no indication that a deal between the sides is particularly close, as is the case with Paredes. That said, it’s noteworthy that the sides have discussed a deal around Arozarena, who Morosi described as “available” in trade. Earlier this week, reporting indicated that while teams have inquired after Arozarena, the Rays weren’t shopping the outfielder. Arozarena, 28, would be a particularly good fit for a Mariners club that lacks a surefire starting outfielder to pair with Julio Rodriguez and Jarred Kelenic. The 28-year-old slashed a strong .254/.364/.425 with 23 home runs and 22 stolen bases for the Rays this year en route to his first career All Star appearance.
- The Mets appear focused on improving their run prevention as they enter the winter meetings, according to Will Sammon of The Athletic. Sammon notes that in addition to pitching additions, the club is hoping to improve their outfield defense this winter. KBO star Jung Hoo Lee is one player the club has interest in who could do just that, and Sammon suggests that free agent center fielder Michael A. Taylor could be another fit, though the 32-year-old is garnering plenty of interest around the league, per Sammon. Taylor had the strongest offensive season of his career since 2017 with the Twins in 2023, slashing .220/.278/.442 (96 wRC+) while clubbing a career-best 21 home runs in just 388 trips to the plate this year. Sammon goes on to suggest that adding a player who could contribute in center field is the easiest way for the club to improve its defense, as it would allow Brandon Nimmo to slide over to left field more often.