2011 MLB Trade Rumors: Red Sox Targeting Pitching

After their epic collapse this fall, some expected the Boston Red Sox to be very active this offseason.  While they have made significant changes to their front office, the Red Sox have yet to make any major splash in the free agent or trade markets.  As they continue through the winter, the Red Sox figure to make additions to their rotation and bullpen.  Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald hears that the Red Sox are still interested in some of the best available pitchers the market has to offer.

Silverman spoke with Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington who said he was perplexed when people asked him if he was frustrated following last week’s Winter Meetings.  These questioners would have been referring to the Red Sox lack of activity in Dallas.

But Cherington doesn’t see it that way.  According to Cherington, “when you bring a player back it’s not as big news as when you acquire another player from another team, but David Ortiz is one of the best hitters in the American League”.  Cherington noted that Ortiz will still be with the Red Sox in 2012, “and that’s a big deal”.

While that may be a big deal, Red Sox fans are probably not as worried about their team’s offense as they are about Boston’s pitching.  This is an area of need that Silverman expects to eventually be addressed.

When asked about his current staff, Cherington acknowledged that the Red Sox “need to add some pitching depth” and that they are indeed “working on that”.  What is unknown at this time is “what the scope” of these additions will be.  Cherington brought up Alfredo Aceves’s name, perhaps hinting that the Red Sox could look to bring in low-cost alternatives rather than making a big splash this winter.

Cherington said that fans shouldn’t expect what happened last winter to occur this offseason, referring to the team’s signing of Carl Crawford and trade for Adrian Gonzalez.  Cherington said that clubs are “not going to do deals of that scope every offseason, it just doesn’t work that way”.

So who will the Red Sox target this winter?

Silverman hears that the club is still interested in starting pitchers Gio Gonzalez (A’s), John Danks and Gavin Floyd (White Sox) and Wandy Rodriguez (Astros).  As for their bullpen, Silverman reports that Boston is still interested in A’s closer Andrew Bailey.

The free agent market for impact starting pitchers is now close to barren with C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle signing last week.  Boston has expressed some interest in Yu Darvish but is not listed as one of the favorites to win the bidding for the right-hander.  Edwin Jackson is an intriguing option, but many teams have seemed to avoid him and his inconsistency this winter.

It is TBD to see what type of move the Red Sox make this winter to address their pitching, but they are in need of a closer and could use a rotation-boost.  For what it’s worth, Cherington has said that he is comfortable with the top of his current rotation, which includes Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, so fans expecting a big splash may be disappointed.

For more on the Red Sox, be sure to check out BoSox Injection.

Tags: Adrian Gonzalez Alfredo Aceves Andrew Bailey Boston Red Sox C.J. Wilson Carl Crawford Clay Buchholz David Ortiz Edwin Jackson Gavin Floyd Gio Gonzalez John Danks Jon Lester Josh Beckett Mark Buehrle Wandy Rodriguez Yu Darvish

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