The Red Sox finally made a notable addition this offseason by signing starting pitcher Garrett Richards.
The Boston Red Sox have been in the business of saving money over the past few years. That started with sending Mookie Betts to Los Angeles and continued with the team avoiding any big money en route to a last-place finish in 2020.
Now the Red Sox are looking to bounce back with Alex Cora returning as manager. The top of the rotation is supposed to feature Chris Sale, but he will still be recovering from Tommy John surgery when play begins. Boston has finally made a move this offseason as Garrett Richards is coming to town to provide much-needed help in the rotation.
Red Sox taking a shot on Richards
Richards has never been an elite pitcher. However, injuries have held him back for quite some time.
The right-hander made 32 starts in 2015 and was not back on a full schedule until last season with the San Diego Padres due to several major elbow injuries. He made 14 total appearances in 2020, logging a 4.03 ERA in 51.1 innings.
He now joins a rotation featuring the likes of Nathan Eovaldi, Martin Perez, and Eduardo Rodriguez. Sale is the ace, when healthy, and questions will also surround Rodriguez after he missed the 2020 season because of COVID-19.
Richards comes in as a bit of a reclamation project and the Red Sox being a team with a higher budget means $10 million for one year won’t break them if he doesn’t perform well. He should slot in as the No. 3 starter to begin the year and could rise even higher with Sale out.
The hope for Richards is that he can just stay healthy. A history of elbow problems is never a good sign, especially for a 32-year-old whose best years were in 2014 and 2015. If he can, the Red Sox got a steal. If not, the team will have to learn to be more aggressive if they want to avoid falling behind in what is now a dominant AL East division.