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.
The guys have even more reaction to Deflategate and if this is actually a showdown between Bill and Roger.
Tom E. Curran calls the boys during his layover in Denver and gets right into the Deflategate craziness. Tom talks about his knowledge of the situation including his thoughts on if the NFL was indeed trying to set up and catch the Pats in the act. He gets into the relationship between Belichick and the league office, Belichick and Kraft and the actual game on Super Bowl Sunday.
Greg and Steve discuss the Deflategate debacle with callers and give their theories as to what went down in Foxboro last week against the Colts. Both guys think that Pats may be guilty of doing something to the balls, but that so do most other teams. Will Belichick and Brady be punished? Not if the NFL doesn't have proof, which it's looking more and more like they don't.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out of hardware, and give their Finals predictions
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
The Red Sox have taken over Foxwoods and Red Sox Manager John Farrell sat down with Mut and Bradford to talk about the roster and how the 2015 season is looking.
Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly and 3B Pablo Sandoval sat down with Mut and Bradford. Joe Kelly had a few interesting proclamations. First he said that 95% of pitchers use some sort of grip enhancer, and then he said he was going to win the Cy Young. Pablo leaned over and promised 10 HR's, explaining to Joe that the trick is to set the bar low.
Mut and Rob are in on the Hot Stove Show this week and they're taking calls and talking about the Red Sox pitching as we are 5 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.
Pierre McGuire talks about ways hockey players skirt the rules in the NHL and the development of Dougie Hamilton.
Pierre McGuire joins Lou, Christian and Tim to discuss the resurgent Bruins, the emergence of David Pastrnak, and former Boston College stand-out Johnny Gaudreau looking to trademark the name 'Johnny Hockey.'
We get our state of the B report from NESN's Jack Edwards, right in the midst of a 4 game winning streak and hot return for David Pastrnak.
Tom Brady joined the show before his trip to Phoenix.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show by discussing Belichick's presser Saturday.
The guys react to comments made by Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney
After Tom Brady answered questions for a half hour about Deflate-Gate, the guys discuss whether or not they believe him.
Adam Schefter, ESPN, talks everything Deflate Gate with Lou, Christian and Tim on Patriots Friday
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
We discuss deflategate and move beyond it for some game talk with Tom E Curran of CSNNE
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart of PFW continue the dialogue and try and find some sanity in this sea of madness.
A caller named Jumbo from California raises a question that hasn't been talked about too much, what happens if it's determined that the Patriots aren't found responsible for the deflation of the footballs?
Mut and Lenny continue talking and taking calls on deflategate, as well as hearing the sound from Kirk Minihane's appearance on the O'Reilly Factor.
Mut and Lenny are talking deflategate and what impact it could have on the Patriots organization.
Chris and comedian Mike Mulloy recap the final Raw before the Rumble and preview the Rumble itself.
Would you rather watch important games in the stadium or on TV? Also we discuss our worst experiences at stadiums.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out some hardware, and give their Finals predictions.
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.More from this show
We discuss deflategate and move beyond it for some game talk with Tom E Curran of CSNNEMore from this show