While the Red Sox kept tabs on the Cubs’ Matt Garza market, his profile was an imperfect fit for what the team wanted and what the team was willing to give up. Garza would have represented nothing more than a two-month (and perhaps postseason) rental who would reach free agency following the 2013 campaign; under the terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, because Garza is switching teams mid-year, he is not eligible for the qualifying offer necessary to receive a compensatory draft pick should he depart in free agency.
In other words, Garza represents the most extreme sort of case of sacrificing long-term talent for short-term gain. Given that the Sox still expect Clay Buchholz back and that their other season-opening members of the rotation (John Lackey, Jon Lester, Felix Doubront, Ryan Dempster) have all shown, at times, the ability to be a solid member and in some instances (Lackey, Lester to start the year, Doubront more recently) have demonstrated the potential to dominate, the team doesn’t feel a sense of desperation to focus on ceiling.
Moreover, the fact that the Sox have a number of near major league-ready starting prospects in the minors or on their big league roster (Brandon Workman, Drake Britton, Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa) gives the team some sense that, even as it explores the market for pitching, it’s not in as desperate a condition as was the case in 2011, when the team didn’t have viable options in Triple-A beyond Andrew Miller and Kyle Weiland.
That being the case, the team seems unlikely to be seduced by ceiling in its explorations of the trade market. Nor, according to multiple major league sources, is it likely to part with top prospects for rental starters such as Garza and Ervin Santana.
Instead, the team would be more intrigued by the idea of identifying a pitcher with a solid performance track record who would be available for multiple years of control. According to one major league source, a pitcher like Bud Norris — 6-8 with a 3.63 ERA, 6.4 strikeouts per nine innings, 2.8 walks per nine innings, averaging exactly six innings per start — represents the sort of pitcher who, at least in theory, matches up with what the Sox are seeking. Someone who’s had a first-hand glimpse of the pitcher this year views him as an impactful candidate for trade.
“He’s been really good this year. I think the biggest thing for him has been his consistency,” said Astros catcher Jason Castro at the All-Star Game. “He’s been able to really, for the full first half, pretty much do what he’s wanted. He’s kind of been working on a few different things as far as his pitch selection goes. He’s kind of developed a few more secondary pitches that have been pretty successful for him, and I think he kind of gives hitters a different look, because of the kind of history he had when he first came in. He was mostly a two-pitch guy. It’s been a credit to him to see him evolve and adjust himself based on what the league was seeing from him. I think that’s kind of added to him being successful.
“He could be a very solid part of any organization as they move forward. He’s one of those guys that you’d love to keep,” added Castro. “If we could hold onto him, he’d be an asset for us. We’ll see what happens, but I know that wherever he ends up, he’s going to pitch very well and do the things that have been why he’s been successful this year.”
Norris is making just $3 million this year and has two more years of team control before he is eligible for free agency. So, while he’d require the sacrifice of prospects who represent long-term assets, he’d also afford an acquiring team a stabilizing rotation member for multiple seasons.
According to one source, the Sox have checked in on the Norris market and currently believe the Astros’ asking price is too high, feeling that it’s more in line with a pitcher who has the reputation of a front-of-the-rotation option rather than a back-end one. But, given the depth of the Sox’ system, if Houston’s asking price does come down, then the Sox could become more aggressive in the pursuit of Norris (and other pitchers of a similar ilk — mid- to back-of-the-rotation options who are controllable for multiple years) given the lack of proven depth in the group of prospects mentioned above.
We check in on the Patriots off-season with ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss. Mike updates us on Revis, McCourty, Wilfork and more.
Price calls Butch to discuss the March 2nd deadline for franchise tags, free agency and the Pats' plans going forward.
Shortly after the NFLRA released its statement demanding an apology from ESPN, Jim Quirk, the NFLRA's Executive Director, joined Mut to talk about the statement
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Jessica Camerato of basketballinsiders.com joins the show to talk about Marcus Smart, the starting lineup, and trade deadline.
The one and only Rob Bradford calls Butch to discuss his early thoughts on this Red Sox team, the potential in the rotation, how the outfield will shake out and more.
David Ortiz takes a few minutes to talk with Mut, Bradford, and Tomase about some of his new teammates, who Pablo Sandoval reminds him of, and the rules aimed at speeding up the game of baseball.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are talking Red Sox spring training. and talk with Red Sox DH David Ortiz about the rules aimed at speeding up the pace of the game
In the second of Sunday Skate, DJ and Joe discuss the approaching NHL trade deadline and what the B's will do. They get into the Boychuk move at the beginning of the season and Boychuk's brother venting on Twitter this morning about complaining B's fans. There is more discussion on the 3rd and 4th lines, their playoff chances and then they are joined by ESPN's Scott Burnside.
Another edition of Sunday Skate is upon us and DJ and Joe get into the B's big win over Arizona last night and the improvement of Ryan Spooner. They get into the Blackhawks giving up a 1st round pick for C Antoine Vermette - someone the B's could certainly use but weren't willing to give up the steep price of a 1st rounder. DJ and Joe also get into Claude's willingness to switch up lines as well as the performance of the 3rd and 4th lines. Finally, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman sits down with the boys.
Scott Burnside joins the boys to discuss the Bruins and the NHL trade deadline.
A look back at Dennis and Callahan's 2015 trip to spring training. They visited with Larry Lucchino, Ben Cherington, Xander Bogaerts, John Farrell, Mookie Betts, Joe Kelly, Curt Schilling and Dustin Pedroia.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk are joined by Rob Bradford, Gordon Edes and Steve Buckley to forecast the 2015 campaign.
Pedroia joins the guys in Fort Myers to look at the upcoming season and his health entering the spring.
Brick joined the show to talk about the couple players that the B's added. He noted that the lack of subtractions means that the front office trusts the core group.
The Red Sox entire team wore the number 3 to honor Pete Frates. The HS team that was suspended for trying to bring awareness to breast cancer have been allowed to play. Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley are bad at karaoke, but not as bad as Joey and Christian.
With the Patriots focusing on CB Darrelle Revis, it's likely that the team will lose safety Devin McCourty or Brandon Browner. Or both.
We talk Boston Bruins with NESN's Jack Edwards, our first talk since the NHL trade deadline.
Jerry discusses the plus and minus' of the Patriots first (of many) Super Bowl DVD's
Dale and Michael briefly discuss the opening of the Marathon Bombing Trial, and how the 'Free Dhzokar' crowd will have to get a new hobby.
Mikey, Mut, and Lenny are joined by the Rev girls, who are revealing the New Revolution uniform Tuesday at the House of Blues in Boston and talking about the Revs.
Mikey, Lenny, and Maggie talk Red Sox baseball with Red Sox Hall of Famer Bill Lee, who is in Florida and out of the snow that's perpetually burying the area.
Mikey gets a call from Kirk Minihane, who wants to clear the air with Mikey and get everything settled. It goes better than you think.
Adam Himmelsbach, Celtics beat reporter for the Boston Globe, joins the show to share his love of the Brow and discuss the surging Celtics playoff chances. Then we take a field trip to the MIT Sloan Analytics Conference and analyze the data with Rick Friedman.
Chris and comedian Will Noonan discuss the events of last night's Raw.
WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin previews the opening round of the Hockey East tournament with Northeastern coach Jim Madigan and Mike McMahon of College Hockey News and The Mack Report.
Schilling chatted about his decision to fight back against the Twitter trolls that targeted his daughter. Curt talks about what he would like to see happen to the most vicious trolls.More from this show
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We discuss Curt Schilling's outing of the internet trolls who thought rape jokes were appropriate to direct at his daughter, and we discuss it with you, on how this isn't just a sports issue, it's a societal issue.More from this show