To be honest, I thought that the Red Sox rumors were going to die down once they signed Price, but I guess I couldn't be more wrong. There are rumors swirling all around this team, specifically with the starting rotation and bullpen. With the Winter Meetings underway, its about to get interesting. Here are the highlights:
The Padres And Red Sox Are Obsessed With Each Other
After completing the Craig Kimbrel-To-Boston deal, the Red Sox and Padres are again in trade talks with some very big name players. On the San Diego side, Pablo Sandoval has been linked to the Padres since he signed with the Red Sox last offseason, as well as, surprisingly, Hanley Ramirez. The Padres are looking for a big bat, and are also looking to unload James Shields' monstrous contract. While a straight swap of Hanley Ramirez-for-James Shields would work out monetarily, I doubt the Padres would accept that deal. Shields isn't the same pitcher he once was, but could still be a very strong #3 in the Red Sox starting rotation. Another name, although less realistic, to keep in mind is Tyson Ross. Ross was linked to the Sox last offseason, but his price will only go up as prime free agent pitchers roll off the free agent market.
Wade Miley Drawing Major Interest
To a casual baseball fan, Wade Miley is a mediocre starting pitcher. However, if you take a deeper look at his numbers, Miley is a quality piece in anyone's starting rotation. Last year, Miley went 11-11, with a 4.46 ERA in 193.2 innings. Not spectacular, right? However, Miley is a workhorse. Every fifth day, Miley takes the mound and gives you a decent chance to win, while almost certainly giving the bullpen some much needed rest. According to multiple reports, the Mariners and Pirates, among others, have inquired about the availability of Miley. With too many left handed arms in the starting rotation after the acquisition of Price, someone has to go. In my opinion, that guy is Miley.
Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz
Again, most people are perplexed as to why a team would be interested in Joe Kelly or Clay Buchholz. However, Kelly and Buchholz are extremely interesting, if the price is right. Joe Kelly can throw gas. Plain and simple. At the end of the 2015 season, Kelly was pitching extremely well as a starter, and there is always the possibility that they move his lively arm to the bullpen. Kelly is a great clubhouse personality, and would not implode a team's farm system to acquire.
As for Buchholz, the same story applies. Low risk, high reward. Buchholz is under contract for $13 million per year, which, in this day and age, is an absolute steal for a starting pitcher. If he can stay healthy for a season, Buchholz is one of the better pitchers in baseball. However, he is an absolute head case and will almost certainly get hurt before the end of the season. One of the teams with major interest in Buchholz, per Fox Sports, is the Mariners, who are also interested in Wade Miley.
As the Winter Meetings roll on, more rumors are sure to surface. We will keep you updated!
By Pete Packowski