The Mariners are hurting for starting pitching, especially after dealing Taijuan Walker to the Diamondbacks for Jean Segura. And the free agent market is currently headlined by the likes of Brett Anderson, Nate Eovaldi, and Jason Hammel. So Bob Dutton reports that GM Jerry DiPoto is interested in acquiring Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz.
Pomeranz is a former Rockies top prospect who showed promise as a swingman in Oakland before really coming into his own with the Padres in the first half of 2016. He made the All Star team and went 8-7 with a 2.47 ERA, and 115 strikeouts in 102 innings. That, and the two remaining years of team control, made him a top trade candidate. This meant that Pomeranz was caught up in the A.J. Preller/medical records scandal when the San Diego GM sent him to Boston for prospect Anderson Espinoza without telling the Sox about the various medical treatments he’d been receiving.
Naturally, the Sox were furious about the deception, but ultimately did not rescind the deal. In 13 starts for Boston, Pomeranz struggled, posting a 4.59 ERA with 14 homers in 68.2 innings. By the time October rolled around, the disillusioned Sox didn’t even include him in their playoff rotation, and he appeared only in relief against the Indians.
With the acquisition of Chris Sale, the Red Sox do have a plethora of guys to fill their rotation, with Clay Buchholz and Eduardo Rodriguez currently on the outside looking in. Dealing Pomeranz while he still has value makes a good deal of sense.
But Sox President Dave Dombrowski generally isn’t known for dealing away veterans for prospects, and there isn’t a clear match for the two clubs. Boston has a hole at third base, where they’re currently hoping Pablo Sandoval can bounce back, but the Mariners aren’t going to part with Kyle Seager. Maybe a three team deal with the White Sox could work, where the Red Sox wind up with Todd Frazier, the Mariners get Pomeranz, and Chicago gets prospects.
For the Mariners, Pomeranz would be a risky acquisition. He had a history of shoulder problems before the trade to Boston, and the fallout from that deal has reinforced the idea that he might be damaged goods. Still, he has a great deal of upside, two years of control left at a reasonable cost, and would be going back to a pitcher’s park in Safeco that would mitigate the homers he allows, if the Mariners can pull off a deal.