10 Nov 2014
The Red Sox have the major task of building a starting rotation. While they have a handful of OF talent to dangle in any trades, they also have a check book capable of paying some free agents.
2 names that have been discussed in Boston include Jon Lester and the Phillies Cole Hamels. To get Lester, they need to match his asking price and even if he is offering a “home town discount” it’s still going to cost the Red Sox a great deal to land him. Hamels, on the other hand, will require spending money (as in paying him his salary) and prospects. Hamels is on the books for another 4 years at $22.5 each (and a 5th year that vest predicated on durability and good health). So landing Hamels will mean they are only on the hook for 4 years guaranteed but they spend dearly by giving up prospects.
To me this is a no brainer, they should re-sign Lester. Let’s say they can get him for 6 years and $120m and please, we all have ideas as to what it will take, but let’s use this as a starting point and acknowledge it could be higher or maybe even lower I if a home town discount is really possbile. That allows the Red Sox to hold onto their prospects while the down side is an extra 2 years of liability for a pitcher who will be 31 in January. Still I take my chances on Lester over Hamels.
Lester has proven he can pitch in Boston, not every pitcher can do it.
Now, that’s just one starting pitcher, they need another. The GM meetings are when both trade and free agent ideas are floated and then the owners meetings are when things start to happen.