Red Sox Reportedly ‘Particularly Invested’ In Sweepstakes For One Highly Coveted Ace
A splash of this caliber would re-engage the fan base
Will Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow kick off his tenure by making one of the biggest splashes in free agency?
The Red Sox have no time to waste after consecutive last-place finishes in the American League East and finally appear to be properly motivated this winter.
“I do think they are going to be particularly invested in the (Yoshinobu) Yamamoto sweepstakes,” The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier said while appearing on MLB Network on Tuesday.
“When you think about the history of this organization, there’s a reason why they were the winners when it came to Daisuke Matsuzaka about 16, 17 years ago. They really value that ideal sweet spot of age and elite performance. But, of course, they are not alone in that chase.”
Yamamoto is the best pitching prospect to ever come out of Japan and already has garnered league-wide interest.
The 25-year-old posted a 16-6 record with a 1.21 ERA, 169-to-28 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 0.88 WHIP in 164 innings across 23 starts for Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball League last season.
The hard-throwing right-hander would be the perfect player for the Red Sox to build their rotation around, regardless of the price tag.
The Athletic’s Tim Britton projects that Yamamoto will sign a deal in the region of seven years, $203 million.
While many teams will be interested and his cost will be quite high, Boston needs to remind the rest of the league that it is one of the largest markets in the sport.
Signing what appears to be a generational ace to an average annual value in the range of $29 million would do just that. It would also be the first big step to climbing back into contention.
No lone player will be enough to move them from last to first but adding a bona fide ace would have more impact than any other addition. No player is more qualified for the job than Yamamoto.