The Boston Red Sox shocked the baseball world at the annual Winter Meetings, where they came back from the dead to acquire Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox (still feels untrue), at the expense of Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech. This deal, however, leaves the Red Sox in a bit of a fix. They now have 7 starting pitchers (8 if you include Henry Owens) on their roster, and 4 of those being lefties (5 w/ Owens). This predicament has the Red Sox weighing out a few options on who to put in the bullpen, and who to find a trade partner for.
These 2 pitchers? RHP and 10-year veteran, Clay Buchholz, and LHP and newly acquired All-Star, Drew Pomeranz.
The wiser financial situation would be sending Drew Pomeranz to the bullpen and finding a trade partner for Clay Buchholz. The Red Sox currently have a payroll of $204 million (luxury tax is $195M), and Clay Buchholz' salary for this upcoming season is $13.5 million. With the new CBA, teams are far more weary of going over that threshold of $195 million, so trading Clay Buchholz would be smarter for the Red Sox, especially if they want to add a piece at the Trade Deadline next summer. However, Clay was one of the most effective pitchers in baseball last season in the second half. In fact, he and Rick Porcello really held down the pitching staff and helped the Sox make the playoffs last year. Clay also pitched his way into the playoff rotation, sending Pomeranz to the bullpen, and had the best start of the 3 in the series for Boston.
However, that strong second half run for Clay has made him, by all accounts, a top 3 target via trade, now that Chris Sale is off the market. Making it so the Sox could trade Clay and get some pretty good prospect in return, or trade him for cash straight up.
As for the case to move Pomeranz? He's coming off an All-Star season with San Diego, before coming to Boston and struggling. He was 8-7 with a 2.47 ERA in San Diego, and was 3-5 with a 4.59 ERA in Boston. In fact, his performance was so poor, that he was banished to the bullpen. Making Sox Nation feel like trading 18-year-old pitching prospect, Anderson Espinoza, was too much of a return.
So by trading Pomz, the Sox could at least restart with another prospect, and go from there. Also, with the Sox having 4 lefties already, trading Pomeranz and keeping Clay Buchholz will provide a source of balance in the Red Sox rotation.