The Red Sox currently have a monopoly on the starting pitching market a few days after the conclusion of the Winter Meetings. By all accounts, after the acquisition of Chris Sale, the Red Sox have the top three pitchers "available." Because Boston now boasts one of the deepest starting rotations in all of baseball with seven, maybe even eight, capable pitchers, the Red Sox have been quietly shopping Clay Buchholz, Drew Pomeranz, and Eduardo Rodriguez.
While teams have, for good reason, been more interested in Pomeranz and Rodriguez, the Red Sox have let it be known that they are most open and willing to trade Buchholz, who has a $13.5 million club option for this season that was picked up a few months back. The Red Sox are right around the $195 million luxury tax, but have reportedly been trying hard to get under that mark. Trading Buchholz would put them below that mark.
According to the Miami Herald, the Marlins are extremely interested in acquiring Clay Buchholz after missing out on a number of starting and relief pitchers, including Aroldis Chapman. However, reportedly, the Red Sox asked for 24-year-old pitching prospect Luis Castillo in any deal involving Buchholz .
Castillo has been flipped between teams and roles since becoming a professional ballplayer in 2011 with the San Fransisco Giants, but there is no denying his talent. Castillo was originally a relief pitcher in the minor leagues and routinely hit triple digits with his fastball. However, in the past year, Castillo has transition into a starting pitcher and hasn't fallen on his face yet. The #5 prospect in the Marlins' system amassed a 2.26 ERA in 131.2 innings, while striking out 103 and walking just 25. According to the Marlins' media, they believe Castillo could be a legitimate top-end of the rotation arm in a few years.
However, the Marlins reportedly thought the price was far too high for a rental pitcher in the twilight of his career. This is something I would keep an eye on, as we have heard rumblings of Buchholz to Miami since last year's trade deadline.
For Buchholz, this would be the perfect fit. He could finally leave Boston, a place that has noticeably gotten in his head the past couple of years. As Buchholz slows down into his 30s, the transition to the NL could prove to be just what the doctor ordered.
If Buchholz is dealt, this would be the first time in Dave Dombrowski's tenure as the President of Baseball Operations for Boston where he is acquiring a player with no major league experience.