Sox free-agent targets: Starting pitchers

October 7, 2012

The Red Sox have a boatload of money to spend and a need for at least one starting pitcher. Would you like to see them go after a front-line starter? Or should they take a less risky route and look for bargains or short-term deals? Rank the soon-to-be-free-agent starters below. We also give you the choice to vote for the Sox to stand pat and spend their money elsewhere.

Sox free-agent targets: Starting pitchers

Zack Grienke

Zack Grienke

The 28-year-old Greinke could command nine figures. Last 8 starts of 2012 he was 5-0 with a 2.04 ERA. Is he the next ace of the Red Sox? Struggled with anxiety early in his career.


Dan Haren

Dan Haren

Has hefty club option for 2013, but could be on the market. Haren just turned 32, but his arm has experienced a lot of use. Since 2004, only three pitchers have thrown more pitches. Haren was once dominant against righties (.219 Opp. BA in 2009), but they've hit .320 against him in 2012.


Anibal Sanchez

Anibal Sanchez

29-year-old is a former Red Sox prospect. Had a sub-4 ERA in 2012, including a 3.74 mark in 12 starts for the Tigers.


Edwin Jackson

Edwin Jackson

After playing on seven teams in the past eight years, 29-year-old Jackson is finally ready to settle down after a solid season for the Washington Nationals.


Kyle Lohse

Kyle Lohse

Lohse finished seventh in the majors in ERA, but 46th in expected fielding independent pitching (xFIP). That's a strong sign that he's in for a rude awakening in 2013. At 35, it would be a surprise if he's up for a return trip to the AL.


Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster

35-year-old Dempster might be the most realistic option if Boston is looking for a one-year rental. But his 5.09 ERA in 12 starts with the Texas Rangers certainly hurt his value. Also consider that he went 9-2 with a 1.98 ERA against teams with losing records, compared to 3-6 with a 4.65 ERA against those .500 or better. That doesn't sound like a recipe for success in the AL East.


Hiroki Kuroda

Hiroki Kuroda

For the second straight year, 37-year-old Kuroda is probably the best option for the Red Sox. With the possible exception of Peavy, he had the best season of any free agent. Boston is in the unique position of having a significant spending advantage over the cost-cutting Yankees.


Brandon McCarthy

Brandon McCarthy

McCarthy, 29, has been on the disabled list eight times in the past five years, and that doesn't include the frightening September incident in which a line drive struck him in the head. Shoulder issues continue to plague McCarthy, but his breakout 2011 season proves that he could be worth a gamble.


Shaun Marcum

Shaun Marcum

Elbow injuries have sent Marcum to the DL four times in his career, including for two months in 2012 and the entire 2009 season. Still just 30, he's a risk for anything beyond a one-year deal. But Marcum's effectiveness might entice a team to give more.


Gavin Floyd

Gavin Floyd

Since his breakout 17-8 season in 2008, Floyd has been consistently average, going 44-48 with a 4.24 ERA. Has a team option that could keep him off the market.


Francisco Liriano

Francisco Liriano

Liriano continues to alternate between dominance and wildness. Two consecutive mediocre seasons have seriously diminished his market value. But still only 28, he's the same age as Clay Buchholz. Few possess his upside, but Liriano's control only seems to be getting worse.


Joe Blanton

Jeremy Guthrie

Hisashi Iwakuma

Carlos Villanueva

Carlos Zambrano

Sox should stand pat

Sox should stand pat

The Red Sox are better off spending their money elsewhere, there's enough depth among starters. What they really need is a hitter.


Your Rankings

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.