Mookie Betts and David Price have officially been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. While the Red Sox are getting a serviceable replacement for Betts in the form of 23-year-old outfielder Alex Verdugo, they were unable to compensate for their pitching needs in this five-player deal.
As things stand right now, the Red Sox’ starting rotation is composed of Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, and newcomer Martin Perez. That’s about it now that Price is out of the picture.
Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom was asked at Monday’s press conference about who could replace the veteran left-hander this coming season.
“As strange as it is to say this right before pitchers and catchers report, obviously we have a lot of time to figure that out,” Bloom said. “We have spent a lot of the winter adding starting depth to our 40-man [roster]. We have some good options off-roster as well.”
Prior to shipping Betts and Price off to Los Angeles, Bloom and Co. kept plenty busy by making a number of smaller transactions. Some of the players who will serve as starting depth that are currently on the 40-man roster include Matt Hall, Kyle Hart, Chris Mazza, Mike Shawaryn, Hector Velazquez, and Ryan Weber.
In terms of pitchers that are not currently on the 40-man roster, Tanner Houck and Brian Johnson immediately come to mind as hurlers who could start in the majors this season if necessary.
“Because of the shoes David leaves behind, we’re going to continue to look outside the organization as well,” Bloom added.
Just because pitchers and catchers report to Fenway South on Tuesday does not mean that additional roster shakeups will be made. Players will be traded, waived, maybe even released.
With the six-plus weeks remaining until the start of the 2020 regular seasons, it would be foolish to think that the Red Sox’ roster won’t look different come March 25th.
David Price will be missed, both on the field and in the Sox’ clubhouse, but despite what you may be led to believe, there is time to implement an adequate replacement or replacements.