The Red Sox Hot Stove has burned out.  Dave Dombrowski recently noted that the free-agent market has slowed down significantly the past two years.  He’s in favor of a free-agency deadline of some sort to spurn action.  Dave Dombrowski is right.  With that in mind, here is some recent interesting MLB news, and how it affects the Red Sox.

Red Sox Transactions

You are forgiven if unfamiliar with recent Red Sox transactions Gorkys Hernandez and Zach Putnam.

Hernandez is a 30 year old outfielder.  He played 142 games last year with the San Francisco Giants.  That was the most games he has played in a year in his career.  He hit .234 with a .676 OPS last year.

Putnam is a 31 year old reliever.  He saved 6 games with a 1.98 ERA four years ago for the White Sox.  Last year he got into 7 games for a total of 8.2 innings.  Yes, he had a 1.04 ERA, but his injuries have limited him to 32 games in relief over the past two years.

These guys are AAA roster filler.  They’re just as likely to spend the year in AAA, or be injured, as they are to make any kind of impact on the Red Sox this year.

That being said, at least the Sox signed Eovaldi, not exactly a pillar of consistency himself.  Here are some other teams making moves.

Starting Pitchers

Matt Harvey got a one-year 11 million, with $3 million incentives, from the Angels.  Lance Lynn signed a three-year $30 Million deal with the Rangers.  Harvey, formally the Dark Knight of the Mets, went 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA for the Reds last year.  Lance Lynn went 10-10 between the Twins and Yankees, with a 4.77 ERA.

There are some making the argument the Red Sox overpaid for Eovaldi based on these deals.  Neither Harvey nor Lynn had a three week stretch like Eovaldi showed in the Postseason.  Time will tell, but Harvey has looked cooked, and Lynn in decline.  Starting pitching is expensive.

The Runnin’ Royals

Remember when Billy Hamilton was the next big thing?  Way back in 2013 he was a highly touted prospect.  He got a cup of coffee with the Reds that year, and flashed a .902 OPS in 13 games.  People thought he would hit a ton of doubles, steal 80 bags a year, and be a gold glover.  Since then he has lead the the league in one thing: caught stealing.  He’s managed 277 steals, but a lowly .631 OPS, in his career so far.  And he’s not sniffing gold glove caliber defense.

All through the mid to late 90s, and the first leg of the this Century’s Red Sox Championship teams, the Royal’s Kauffman Stadium was a house of horrors for the Sox.  But considering the arguments for the Royals moves include phrases like “…may not produce much in the way of offense…”, it’s safe to say the Royals won’t be much of the threat to the Sox, or any other opponent, in 2019.

Oh Those Mets

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen, with a name right out of The Sound Of Music, is showing why there was hope he could be had in a deal for Noah Syndergaard.  The Mets just gave Wilson Ramos a 2-year $19 million deal.  The 30 year old has two All Star nods, including last year.  But after being a stalwart for the Phillies and Nationals for several years, he’s been getting nicked up a little more each year.

He missed the All Star game last year with a hamstring injury from running the bases.  Catchers, for the most part, do not get better after 30.  Maybe if Christian Vazguez was 30 and injury prone, instead of 27 and coming off a great postseason, the Mets would’ve wanted him.  $9.5 million a year for Ramos is another head-scratching move.

A Dearth Of Big Name Deals

La Stella, Torreyes and Descalso.  Now there’s some big time talent, so exciting!  Can we get a Marwin Gonzalez deal at the very least?

How About A Former Big Name?

The artist formally known as Tulo is causing a stir.  This five-time All Star is so bad, the Blue Jays paid $38 million to release him last week.  That’s Pablo ‘Panda’ Sandoval territory.  Now a third of all teams are clambering to overpay him.

Let’s a hope an AL East team grabs him, so Red Sox pitching can rack up more strikeouts.

Hope, In This Season Of Hope

The tails of Yasiel Puig and Rusney Castillo, and all the Cuban defectors, are harrowing stories of heartbreak and despair.  Three cheers for MLB, trying to make this a better process.

Can You Imagine This In The Winter Of 2004?

I’m pretty sure the excitement was at a Fever Pitch in the early winter of 2004.  This team just put down a historic run to a World Championship.  The Red Sox raised ticket prices in advance of putting them on sale.  Of course, marketing is important for any organization.  But to not be mostly sold out at this point is a part of the problem Dave Dombrowski pointed out.  There is a distinct lack of buzz out there.

How To Be A Great Friend

Happy belated Birthday to Keith Richards, who recently turned 75.  He showed us all how to stand up for our friends.

May we all be there for each other in the coming year.


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