The Boston Red Sox made their first big splash at the Winter Meetings on Monday morning, signing catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli to a three-year, $39 million deal. While Boston still needs to focus on filling voids in the outfield and potentially at shortstop, the Red Sox also need at least one more starting pitcher to round out their starting rotation.
While rumors will continue to fly around Nashville, Tennessee over the next couple of days, here’s a look at three free-agent starting pitchers that Boston could end up landing.
Kyle Lohse had a career year with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012, going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 211 innings of work. At 33 years old, Lohse would be an ideal addition to Boston’s rotation next to Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports confirms the team’s interest:
“The Angels and Red Sox have emerged as two of the suitors for star free-agent pitcher Kyle Lohse. Lohse, like Anibal Sanchez, is likely to wait for the market setter, Zack Greinke, to sign first.”
Lohse hasn’t pitched in the American League since 2006 when he was taking the mound for the Minnesota Twins, and never had much success until he switched leagues. In six seasons with the Twins, Lohse went 51-57 with a 4.88 ERA.
Anibal Sanchez is another intriguing free-agent option who has been relatively consistent over the course of his career with the Miami Marlins and Detroit Tigers. Pitching for both teams in 2012, Sanchez went 9-13 with a 3.86 ERA in 195.2 innings, having an ERA of 20 fewer points with the Tigers.
Sanchez is considered one of the top starters on the market and has drawn a lot of interest from a variety of teams, and a bidding war is bound to ensue shortly. Boston does have interest in securing the right-hander, but the price may be too steep already, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
#redsox interested in lohse. but they seem to be taking care of offense 1st. also like anibal but found price very high
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 4, 2012
If the Red Sox were to sign Sanchez, he would likely become the No. 2 starter behind Jon Lester, hurling before Clay Buchholz. Boston needs Sanchez’s price tag to drop before they start figuring out who will start when, though.
Brandon McCarthy has been a great pitcher for the Oakland Athletics over the past two seasons, helping them win the American League West in 2012 with an 8-6 record and a 3.24 ERA. Although McCarthy’s win total hasn’t hit double-digits over the course of his seven-year career, his ERA hasn’t topped 3.32 over the past two seasons.
McCarthy would be the middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher that Boston needs to complete their rotation, and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports they’re interested:
The A’s have been in contact with another of their free agents, starter Brandon McCarthy, but expected that there would be strong competition for the right-hander and they’re right: The Chronicle has learned that among the clubs already expressing interest are the Red Sox, the White Sox, the Cubs, the Royals, the Diamondbacks and the Twins—and the Angels and Rangers also are expected to join in.
McCarthy was struck in the head by a comebacker in September and ended up missing the remainder of the regular season and the entire postseason. He is expected to be completely healthy and ready to go for spring training.