BOSTON — The Red Sox are in an enviable position. Other teams apparently realize that.
As it stands, the Red Sox have at least six viable starting pitching options — Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jake Peavy, Felix Doubront and Ryan Dempster — under contract for 2014. The number is even higher if you include the young hurlers — like Brandon Workman, Drake Britton, Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa — who are capable of filling in on a moment’s notice.
This is obviously a luxury rather than a problem. So while the Red Sox are certainly picking up the phone this winter, it doesn’t sound as if general manager Ben Cherington is ready to make any knee-jerk moves involving the rotation despite the surplus of arms at his disposal.
“We’ve had a number of conversations and I think it’s no secret, one area we have a little bit of depth in is the rotation. That’s an area other teams are sorting out, working through free agent options. Some of the free agents are starting to land, so I think that’s probably to become more clear for other teams, too,” Cherington said Monday. “We’ll see what that means for us. I don’t know yet really what it means, other than we’ve had a lot of conversations. We know we’ll have to be compelled to do anything there because obviously a supposed surplus can turn into not one pretty quickly, so we want to be careful, not do something in the name of doing it, since there’s downside to doing that. We’ll see. We’ve had a lot of conversations.”
The Red Sox might ultimately decide to deal a starter to build depth in other areas. Cherington indicated Monday that he’s had trade discussions regarding catchers and that he’d like to add someone to the left side of the infield. But if the Red Sox show up in Fort Myers in February will all of their current starters on the roster, it wouldn’t be shocking nor a bad thing for Boston.