MLB Free Agents 2012: Who Will Red Sox Sign Next to Fill Pitching Void?

Benjamin KleinContributor IIIDecember 20, 2011

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 05:  Starting pitcher Roy Oswalt #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies on the mound in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Four of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 5, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

'Tis the season to sign free agents.

The Boston Red Sox have truly twiddled their thumbs this offseason and let other teams make major moves.

The Angels have already greatly improved their team by signing C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols to mega deals and last night we learned that the Rangers won the rights to Japanese ace Yu Darvish. It is only a matter of time before Cuban outfielder Yoennis Cespedes gains his residency in the Dominican Republic and the Yankees seems to a have a lot of interest in him. 

We all know that pitching was the biggest need for the Red Sox this offseason and Ben Cherington has made a few moves to help but his work is not done.

Daniel Bard will head into spring training with hopes of becoming a starting pitcher while Boston has stayed quiet on their plans for Alfredo Aceves. Cherington has signed Andrew Miller and Jesse Carlson to deals that will put them in the bullpen or in Triple-A Pawtucket at the end of the spring.

Cherington's biggest move thus far was acquiring Houston closer Mark Melancon for Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland. It doesn't seem that Melancon will be Boston's closer but he will be a big piece of the 2012 bullpen.

There are several free agent closers still on the market and Boston is most interested in former Reds closer Francisco Cordero, according to Jerry Crasnick.

Cordero would be a good fit to fill the void left by Jonathan Papelbon, who signed with the Phililes this offseason. Even though Cordero is 36-years-old, he did save 37 games last season and posted an ERA of 2.45. Bard could still return to the bullpen if the starting pitching stint doesn't work out, but signing Cordero would at least give them some options to work with.

Crasnick also broke news today that Roy Oswalt, who was originally looking for a three-year deal, will now look into accepting a one-year deal.

Oswalt has had back issues lately but his experience would really help a depleted Red Sox rotation. His innings have decreased since coming to the Phillies from Houston, but that was primarily due to injuries. If Oswalt could win 8-12 games for Boston, pitching in around 150 innings, that would be ideal for a one-year contract. He's a guy with proven success over his career so why wouldn't Cherington take a shot at him? 

Eventually we are going to find out what Ben Cherington has been doing this off-season and hopefully it is sooner rather than later. Taking a risk on two veterans, not named Jason Varitek or Tim Wakefield, wouldn't be the worst gift to Red Sox Nation this holiday season.