The Red Sox have been linked to Masterson before during the offseason. It is the first time we’ve heard of anything so concrete as an offer.
For now, it’s hard to say what an offer to Masterson means for Boston’s greater pitching plans. Masterson is coming off a brutal 2014 season. Masterson pitched to a 5.88 ERA with Cleveland and St. Louis, Masterson is likely only looking for a chance to prove himself. It’s hard to imagine any team investing in him long-term at the moment, much less at the price Masterson may have envisioned after his successful 2013 season, meaning that we’re likely looking at a one-year deal here no matter where he might end up.
For Boston, there’s a lot to like when it comes to one-year deals. They seem to have earmarked 2015 as their one year to blow past the $189 million tax threshold, leaving Masterson an ideal pick-up, at least when it comes to the dollars and cents aspect. He’ll cost them money in the year where they’re willing to spend, and then nothing afterward.
Does that mean Masterson isn’t intended to be a second pitcher, but a third? It’s a possibility, albeit one that’s hard to really do anything more than guess at without knowing first the terms of the offer, and second just how far they’re willing to go in terms of payroll for the season. We can, however, say that the rotation can fit three new arms. So far even in the scenarios with two new faces, the Red Sox are relying on Rubby De La Rosa as their fifth starter. And while he was the best of the young arms the Sox tried in 2014, he certainly wasn’t too good to be replaced.
For now, we can only wait and see. But as the first night of the Winter Meetings comes to a close, it seems like the pitching market is finally starting to move.