By now, it is pretty well known: the Red Sox need pitching. While front end of the rotation pitching seems to be the glaring need on this team, in my opinion at least, the Red Sox need to focus on their bullpen. But that is for a different blog on a different day.
A couple months ago, I wrote a column about Oakland sensation Sonny Gray and the prospect of him coming to the Red Sox. At first, it seemed like a whim, but has now gained some traction as the Red Sox look desperate to land a #1 after missing out on Jon Lester last offseason.
Sonny Gray is one of the best young hurlers in all of baseball. Plain and simple. His unique blend of power and touch dazzles hitters before they have time to react. Gray will be under contract through 2019, and, while the Athletics look to be rebuilding, could bring back a few top prospects. On CSN's The Baseball Show, Lou Merloni, former Red Sox infielder, stated that Swihart is the the guy "I can use to get Sonny Gray." While it would hurt to give up a talent like Blake Swihart, Christian Vazquez is returning from Tommy John Surgery and is one of the better defensive catchers in all of baseball.
Swihart's value has, and probably ever will, be higher and the Red Sox should capitalize on the situation. If the Red Sox put together a package, led by Black Swihart, (Perhaps throw in Owens, Margot, and 2 middle of the road prospects?) there is a chance Billy Beane pulls the trigger.
But what about David Price? After all, the Red Sox wouldn't need to give up any of their prospects in their #1 ranked farm system to obtain the lefty's services. But do the Red Sox really want to dish out a 7-year, $200+ million contract? If the Red Sox were to break away from their "no player over 30" mentality, it would be for David Price. After being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, Price won 9 out of his 11 decisions, posting a 2.30 ERA and with 87 strikeouts in 74.1 innings.
Furthermore, Dave Dombrowski already traded for David Price with the Detroit Tigers in 2014. There were reportedly contract extension talks between the two previously mentioned parties, and whats to say those talks can't be rekindled?
My personal preference would be Sonny Gray. I love David Price, but Gray is only 25 and is under contract for another 4 years. At that time, you can revisit the situation and extend him or sign another pitcher in 2019/2020. I am a huge fan of Vazquez and the leadership he brings at a young age at such an important position, which would lessen the blow on losing Swihart.
Regardless of what the Red Sox choose to do, they are in a good position to gain some power arms to their roster.
By Pete Packowski