There is no question about it: the Red Sox need pitching.
While Johnny Cueto, David Price, and Jordan Zimmerman, just to name a few, are out on the Free Agent Market, the Red Sox are unfortunately going to need to empty out some of their farm system to gain the pitching they need.
There is a strong chance that Dave Dombrowski is able to persuade Johny Henry to get David Price/Johnny Cueto, but they will still need a #2 starter. While Jordan Zimmerman could be that guy, I fear that the Red Sox will not make that big of a splash. Signing two out of the top three free agent pitchers would be awesome, but also extremely unrealistic.
So who could the Red Sox go after?
According to sources, before the Trade Deadline, the Red Sox were in talks with the Padres for a variety of different pitchers. At first, we heard about a swap of Pablo Sandoval for James Shields. This year, Shields is 9-5 with a 3.74 ERA in 158.2 innings. While his numbers aren't terrible, he has taken a noticeable step back since leaving the Kansas City Royals. The righty hurler is 33 years old and looks to have his best years behind him. He may be a good #2 or #3, but better options are out there for the price that he will command.
Moreover, with hours left until the end of the 2015 Trade Deadline, more reports surfaced that the Red Sox were in on Craig Kimbrel and Tyson Ross. In 26 games, Ross is 8-9 with a 3.32 ERA in 151.2 innings. Ross is much younger than Shields (~5 years) and, in my opinion, has not reached his peak. If the Red Sox had gotten Ross at the Trade Deadline, he would be the #1 on this team.
The second name, which most baseball fans should be familiar with, is Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel has emerged as one of the best closers in baseball. Unfortunately for Kimbrel, after being traded from Atlanta, San Diego has had a very disappointing season and appears to be looking to shake things up. In 51 appearances, Kimbrel has a 2.94 ERA and 35 saves. With the uncertainty of Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa going into 2016, the Red Sox need to go after one of the best bullpen arms while the price is relatively cheap.
If the Red Sox are able to land Tyson Ross and/or Craig Kimbrel, our starting rotation and bullpen will improve immensely.
Make it happen Dombrowski
By Pete Packowski