The Boston Red Sox have a number of questions to answer this offseason. Thankfully, Pedro Martinez seems to be handing out advice for free.
Not only do the Red Sox have to beef up a roster that finished 78-84 in 2022, but Boston will be tasked with coming to solutions on the contract situations of franchise stalwarts Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and Nathan Eovaldi. There are few areas of the Major League Baseball offseason that won’t be at top of mind for the Red Sox, but Martinez believes their No. 1 offseason priority should be filling out their pitching rotation.
“Anybody that’s at a level of probably a number two, number one (pitcher in the rotation), right along with (Chris) Sale and (Nathan) Eovaldi,” Martinez told Scott Neville of “Inside The Red Sox” on Friday. “Just so that, that pitcher that we choose can take some of the load off those two guys until they finally get back to 100%, like (Justin) Verlander did for the Houston Astros. He took his time, came back totally healthy, and it’s been a great help for the Houston Astros.”
Eovaldi is actually set to become a free agent, but that didn’t stop Martinez from penciling him into the rotation for next season and finding a way to maximize he and Sale’s contributions.
“We have Nathan Eovaldi, not at 100%, who could be a number two, number three. Chris Sale, who’s the number one hasn’t been healthy lately. So he needs a little bit of breathing room. And we need that guy that needs to be durable, is going to give you an opportunity to win and can be matched up against any other ace from any other team.
“So I would like to see the Red Sox find a top-notch pitcher to take some of the load off Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi and the rest of the young staff that we can actually train to be somewhat of an ace, number two, number three, another one could be a vacuum cleaner — those guys that pitch a lot of innings.”
As things currently stand, Boston only has Sale, Brayan Bello and Nick Pivetta scheduled to return to the rotation from last season, meaning moves will need to be made. Verlander, Jacob deGrom, Carlos Rodón, Noah Syndergaard, Clayton Kershaw and Chris Bassitt are the current top names scheduled to hit free agency.