In their quest to shore up their starting pitching ahead of the 2021 season, the Red Sox are making sure to leave no stone unturned.
Plenty of names have popped up and been linked to the Sox in recent weeks, but there is one in particular this article will focus on: Matt Moore.
According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Boston has “engaged in talks” with Moore — among others — this winter.
The 31-year-old left-hander last pitched in the majors in 2019, making just two starts for the Tigers before suffering a meniscus tear in his right knee in early April that would eventually require season-ending surgery.
Prior to injuring his right knee, Moore had looked like he was on the rebound with Detroit after struggling mightily with the Giants and Rangers the previous two seasons. Over 10 scoreless innings of work, he yielded just three hits and one walk to go along with nine strikeouts in his first two outings as a Tiger.
That said, that knee ailment came at a rough time for the southpaw, as he would have to settle and sign a one-year deal with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan last offseason.
With the Hawks, though, Moore picked up where he left off in Detroit, posting a 2.65 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over 15 starts spanning 85 innings pitched in his first exposure to the NPB in 2020.
Taking that strong showing into consideration, it now appears as though the former All-Star is back on the scope of major-league teams.
The Athletic’s Peter Gammons tweeted earlier Tuesday that Moore “has become an intriguing free-agent” and is a “mid-rotation possibility for several clubs.”
Gammons added that Moore got up to 90-95 mph with his fastball velocity while getting his delivery back to a point where it is balanced.
Given the apparent intrigue in Moore from across baseball, it is understandable to see why the Red Sox would have interest here.
For starters, Moore, a Florida native, was selected by the Rays out of high school in the eighth round of the 2007 amateur draft, so there is an obvious Chaim Bloom connection there given the fact that the Red Sox’ chief baseball officer spent more than 14 years in Tampa Bay (2005-2019).
On top of that, as was mentioned earlier, the Sox find themselves in dire need of starting pitching help coming off a 2020 campaign in which the club’s starters put up a collective 5.34 ERA (second-worst in baseball) while working just 246 innings (second-lowest total in baseball).
Seeing how he hasn’t pitched a full major-league season in nearly three years, it’s hard to imagine that Moore’s asking price will be too high as he looks to reintroduce himself.
There certainly is some appeal here given the fact that he doesn’t turn 32 until June and, as noted by Cotillo, threw more innings (85) “than any big-leaguer during the shortened regular season.”
There’s also some things to be wary about with Moore, too. Such as the fact that he has a somewhat extensive history of injuries and has proven to be inconsistent at times.
All that being said, though, Bloom and Co. have not shied away from bringing in players they are familiar with so far this offseason.
Moore, who amassed 96 appearances (94 starts) as a member of the Rays from 2011-2016, meets that particular prerequisite. He also has some upside working with a pitch mix that includes a four-seam fastball, a cutter, a curveball, and a changeup, per Baseball Savant.
(Picture of Matt Moore: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)