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Red Sox Rumors: Rick Porcello, BOS 'Remain Engaged' in Contract Talks in FA

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2019

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 27:  Starting pitcher Rick Porcello #22 of the Boston Red Sox delivers to home plate during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 27, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox "remain engaged" with representatives for free-agent starting pitcher Rick Porcello, according to the Boston Herald's Jason Mastrodonato.

SNY's Matthew Cerrone reported Wednesday the New York Mets were looking at Porcello as well, with the interest mutual between the two parties.

The 30-year-old right-hander finished 2019 with a career-worst 5.52 ERA and a 4.76 FIP that was his second-worst since getting called up to the majors in 2009, per FanGraphs.

His fastball and sinker velocity declined for the second straight season, hitting 91.29 and 89.91, respectively, per Brooks Baseball. Perhaps it wasn't a coincidence Porcello surrendered 1.6 home runs per nine innings while averaging 7.4 strikeouts, the latter of which were his lowest as a member of the Red Sox.

As much risk as Porcello carries, he makes sense as a buy-low signing for any team.

Inconsistency is a trend throughout Porcello's career. He had a 4.92 FIP in 2015, his first year in Boston. One season later he was the American League Cy Young winner. 

While a return to his Cy Young form is unlikely, nobody will be too surprised if he pitches like a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter.

Porcello has value as an innings-eater as well. He has failed to register at least 30 starts only twice, averaging a little more than 185 innings over his 11 years in MLB.

Mastrodonato posted an "incentive-laden short-term deal" would be the best way for the Red Sox to approach Porcello.

Re-signing him probably wouldn't excite the fanbase, but ownership outlined in September it was focusing hard on the bottom line this offseason. A one or two-year contract with certain performance-based incentives for Porcello would fit into that strategy.