FG on Fox: Making a Deal Between the Reds and Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox goal this offseason is pretty simple: upgrade the rotation. After trading away every member of their Opening Day rotation besides Clay Buchholz, Boston is in need of several quality starting pitchers. Undoubtedly, they’ll be talking with several of the best free agent hurlers on the market, and given how much money they have to spend, it’d probably be an upset if they didn’t grab one of the Max Scherzer/Jon Lester/James Shields trio, with most of the speculation centering around Shields, given the organization’s distaste for long-term contracts.

But given the poor history of throwing big money at players whose previous employers deemed them replaceable, the Red Sox probably shouldn’t try to rebuild their entire rotation through the free agent market. Especially because their in-season pitching selloff netted them a surplus of hitters, especially in the outfield. The Red Sox have set themselves up perfectly to trade a bat for an arm, or at least, a deal centered around those principles. And do I have just the suggested partner for them.

Last year, Cincinnati left fielders — mostly Ryan Ludwick, along with a sprinkling of Chris Heissey and Skip Schumaker — combined for a remarkably poor .233/.288/.339 batting line, one of the primary reasons why the Reds scuffled to a fourth place finish. Ludwick was so bad that the Reds decided to pay him $4.5 million to not play for them in 2015, and now they’re in the market for a new left fielder.

Meanwhile, nearly the entire Reds rotation will qualify for free agency at the end of the 2015 season, and with significant money already committed to Joey Votto, Homer Bailey, and Brandon Phillips, the mid-market Reds are simply not going to be able to keep this group of starting pitchers together. And that means that they should probably trade Johnny Cueto this winter.

Read the rest on Just a Bit Outside.

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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Bobby Ayala

It makes a ton of sense for both teams, nice analysis Dave!