Well, it’s not Jon Lester, but the Red Sox do have some pitching for the first time since July 31.
First, the Sox dealt Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster for Wade Miley of the Diamondbacks. This one I’m not too high on. Miley is 28, has 3+ big league seasons under his belt, but just 1 that actually makes us feel really good about him. His ERA the past 2 years were 3.55 and 4.34, respectively, and his FIP was an identical 3.98 both years… in the NL West and in Arizona’s ballpark. How much better will a guy like this get? Your feelings on this trade should come down to De La Rosa and Webster and your thoughts on how well they’ll be. The duo will turn 26 and 25 before the season, respectively, so their ceilings won’t be that high, either. But couldn’t the Red Sox have gotten a pitcher on the free agent market for pennies, or couldn’t they have traded for a guy, who would bring as much value as this trade? That being said, if Cherrington was willing to trade both guys for a back end starter, it probably means we shouldn’t have had a ton of faith in them. So maybe my reaction is just based on the fact that Wade Miley doesn’t excite me at all.
The Justin Masterson signing excites me. His past 4 years have been all over the board. Two, 2011 and 2013, were great. Two, 2012 and 2014, were bad. But even if there’s a 50% chance at “good,” not even great, and a 50% chance at being bad, that’s worth $9.5 million for a single year. That’s worth about 1.5 or 1.75 WAR on the free agent market today, and Masterson is more than capable of providing that.
Then the big catch from today: Rick Porcello for Yeonis Cespedes. Count me among the guys who loves this move. Porcello is a grand total of 3 months older than De La Rosa and already has 5 big league seasons under his belt, but this past year was his best. His FIP has declined from a little above 4 to a little above 3.5 in the past 4 seasons or so, and he posted 4.0 WAR this past season by Baseball Reference’s calculations. And the prime for most players is about ages 25 to 29, meaning that 4-5 WAR per year is a pretty reasonable expectation.
Like Cespedes, Porcello will be a free agent after the year, which will be too bad if he performs. But at least there’s no long term committment, unless Cherrington can lock Porcello up for a below market multiyear deal right now, which I’d absolutely love. Something in the range of 4 years $70 million. Whoops, guess I shouldn’t use those terms with Red Sox fans. My bad.
As for losing Cespedes, well, I don’t need to say much. Good player, but Sox have too many outfielders. Not rocket science. Bye to the Cuban Missile.