Eduardo Rodriguez

Read Sox: Pitching Prospects, Winter Whispers and Closer Costs

Welcome to this week’s edition of Read Sox. This time, we’ll talk about homegrown hurlers, keeping your prospects and what you get in return for trading some of your best minor leaguers.

Going Deep

When it comes to prospect depth, the Red Sox have position players in spades. Pitchers? Not so much. As Tim Britton of The Providence Journal writes, back in August, Dave Dombrowski started laying the groundwork in which he would have the Red Sox focus more on the development of young pitchers. Sure, the Red Sox have Yoan Moncada, Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers and more on the offensive side of the ball, but what about the pitching? Anderson Espinosa is years away, Henry Owens and Brian Johnson are alright but nothing spectacular so far, and Eduardo Rodriguez wasn’t on a Boston minor league team until August of 2014. Pat Light might be the only notable reliever in the entire farm system. It’s good to see a focus on this, but, as the saying goes, TINSTAAPP. Dealing with young pitchers can be frustrating and severely disappointing from a developmental standpoint. Just ask the San Diego Padres.

Speaking of pitchers, it seems like the Red Sox weren’t very interested in talking Eduardo Rodriguez with other teams during the Winter Meetings, according to Rob Bradford of His name was at the forefront of Jose Fernandez talks, when the Miami Marlins (rightfully) wanted what seemed like half of Boston’s roster and then some. So, with the adamant refusal to even mention Eddie in trade talks, it looks like the Red Sox are betting on him to become a key cog in their rotation for years to come. Banking on him seems like the least costly way to acquire better pitching, and it’s certainly cheaper than trading the farm system for Jose Fernandez.

Quick Hits

Hindsight’s 20/20, and as The Boston Globe‘s Alex Speier writes, man, is good relief pitching expensive. With the Craig Kimbrel and Ken Giles trades now official, it’s becoming more and more obvious that acquiring an elite reliever will cost you a pretty penny. Even if he was all but trade bait, Manny Margot was a high price to pay for Kimbrel, and Mark Appel is a steep cost for the Astros to get Giles.

Even after the flurry of moves that surrounded the Winter Meetings, the Red Sox still have to sort out a few things. The rotation needs to be finalized, sure, but the Boston Herald‘s Scott Lauber mentions two long-term problems – the inexperienced outfield and finding someone to fill in when David Ortiz retires. The former seems much simpler than the latter, as those are some massive shoes to fill.

At the beginning of the offseason, a lot was said about the Red Sox being open to trading Jackie Bradley Jr. Turns out, there wasn’t any fire under that smoke. As Ben Buchanan at Over The Monster writers, the Red Sox informed the Royals and the Cubs that JBJ isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Which is good, since that would make Chris Young a starting outfielder.

First they get Garin Cecchini for cash considerations, and now the Milwaukee Brewers have added Will Middlebrooks via a minor league deal. The Brewers are looking for a third baseman, and it wouldn’t hurt to run either of these guys out there and see what you get. Might as well try all the Sox farmhands while you’re at it, Milwaukee.

Photo by Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports Images

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