Report: Red Sox Checking in With Teams That Need Starting Pitching

John Farrell, Ben CheringtonThe Red Sox dealt from an area of depth Wednesday. It might not be the last time that Boston does so this offseason.

The Red Sox traded left-hander Franklin Morales and minor league right-hander Chris Martin to the Rockies on Wednesday in exchange for utilityman Jonathan Herrera, satisfying general manager Ben Cherington‘s desire to add someone capable of playing the left side of the infield. The Sox, who are in the enviable position of having more than five capable starting pitchers, are also checking in with teams who need starters, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Boston has six starters — Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jake Peavy, Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront — vying for five rotation spots. That’s not including Brandon Workman, who could be stretched into a starter during spring training, or some of the organization’s other young, up-and-coming hurlers, such as Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa and Drake Britton.

Rosenthal speculates that Peavy and Dempster are the most expendable starters, but that the club could garner a bigger return if it opts to trade either Lackey or Doubront. Lackey, who is coming off a strong season and postseason, is under contract for the next two years at $16 million because of the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2012. Doubront, who is entering his age 26 season, had an up-and-down 2013 campaign, but is still viewed by many as a left-handed starter with upside.

Trading away a starter likely isn’t the Red Sox’ No. 1 priority this offseason, as we’ve seen how quickly perceived pitching depth can disappear over the course of a 162-game grind. Boston has the luxury of being flexible this winter, though, and Cherington could look to upgrade in other areas by leveraging his starting pitching depth if he so chooses.

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