Tim Kurkjian of ESPN believes the Boston Red Sox are "going to have to be buyers" this summer and that they specifically "have to go out and get another starting pitcher," someone like Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke or Chicago Cubs veteran Ryan Dempster.
"I think they’re going to have to be buyers because they’re the Red Sox," Kurkjian said. "And they can’t give up on a season, especially a season that is still, believe it or not, open to a playoff because of the extra wild card and because of the relative weakness, to me at least, of the American League. … The Red Sox have to go out and get somebody. They have to go out and get another starting pitcher, whether it’s Ryan Dempster or Zack Greinke. It’s going to take an enormous amount to do it."
Red Sox starters currently own the major’s fourth-worst ERA (4.81) and fifth-worst WHIP (1.38). No one in the club’s current rotation owns an ERA south of 4.20. Clay Buchholz has struggled in a big way, and Josh Beckett and Jon Lester didn’t meet the top-of-the-rotation expectations placed on them in the first-half of the season.
Beyond Greinke and Dempster, the Red Sox have been tied to Cubs right-hander Matt Garza this summer. Garza boasts an impressive resume which includes success pitching in the vaunted American League East as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Confirming Kurkjian's belief, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherignton came out yesterday and told WEEI.com he doesn't foresee his club selling this summer.
"I don't envision a scenario where we're sellers, in the traditional sense of the word," Cherington said. "We have some potential surplus in areas we've talked to teams about, and maybe there was ways that could help us now and in the future. But every year in Boston is too important. We're focused on winning this year, and still believe we can.”
Do the Red Sox need to be buyers this summer?