Report: Red Sox ‘Unlikely’ to Add or Subtract Prominent Starting Pitcher Before Spring Training

John Farrell, Ben CheringtonBoston Red Sox fans shouldn’t expect to see anything too crazy.

The Red Sox are “unlikely” to add or subtract a prominent starting pitcher before the beginning of spring training, according to the Boston Herald’s Scott Lauber. This report comes amid speculation about whether Boston will be a player for Masahiro Tanaka and/or deal from its surplus of starters.

Tanaka is expected to generate plenty of interest in free agency now that he has been posted by the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. The Red Sox have been considered sleepers, as there hasn’t been much indication that they’re involved in the sweepstakes despite having the financial flexibility to make a strong push for the 25-year-old right-hander.

The Red Sox currently have six viable major league starters — Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jake Peavy, Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront — under contract for 2014 and a number of other up-and-coming hurlers who are capable of joining the rotation in the event of an injury or a trade. General manager Ben Cherington recently said that he has received phone calls regarding the club’s starting pitchers, although it doesn’t appear that the Red Sox are ready to strike any deals.

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