After a frenzy of a trade deadline moving most of the pitching staff, the Sox must master off-season free agency. By mastering free agency, the target should be signing and bringing pitcher Justin Masterson back to Boston. He began his career with the Red Sox from 2006-2009. He was later traded away to Cleveland for Victor Martinez who was supposed to have been a big back the Sox needed at the time.
Re-living the trade deadline of 2009, teams were interested in a young fire balling Daniel Bard. The Sox felt he was untouchable at the time and unloaded Masterson. What a mistake that was looking back on it! Masterson did a fine job in Cleveland, most of the time being the staff ace while he was there, until being traded recently to St Louis. Masterson won’t be a tier one free agent pitcher as those will-be-Max-Scherzer and the since departed Jon Lester.
As much as Sox fans would like to think that Lester will come back in the off-season, that isn’t going to happen. He teased Red Sox fans by saying even if traded, he would welcome a return back. After hearing owner John Henry’s comments about not signing players to long-term contracts after a player hits 30, there is your proof he is not returning. If he was going to be here, the Sox would have already signed him.
Getting back to Masterson, he could work out as a veteran addition to the staff to help with the youngsters that are going to be here. He could potentially be the Mike Napoli or Shane Victorino free agent attraction the Sox are looking for—big money, short-term three-four year deal. Three is my guess of what they would top out for him.
This would only be the case if he doesn’t go on too much of a tear for the Cardinals and prices himself out of what the Red Sox would be willing to commit to him. The Cardinals did good for themselves getting him and John Lackey to join them for the stretch run. Masterson has played for John Farrell before during his first stint here and would be a good fit in the clubhouse.
The future of the staff appears to be Ruby De La Rosa, Anthony Ranaudo and Brandon Workman at this time. Allen Webster hasn’t shown much yet, but he will continue to get more chances. The Sox still have, and are high on, Henry Owens who is still in the minors and could be here possibly in September for a cup of coffee. With the remaining games of the year, the Sox should get a good idea of whom will be ready for 2015 and what they will need to do in free agency.