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In need of adding starting pitchers to their rotation, the Boston Red Sox made a move early today acquiring lefty Wade Miley from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for starting pitchers Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa. Additionally, the BoSox moved arguably their most valuable piece of trade bait today in Yoenis Cespedes to the Detroit Tigers for Rick Porcello.
Unlike Webster and De La Rosa, Miley does not overpower hitters with his fastball. The southpaw sits at 91MPH and heavily relies upon his slider for success. 2014 was not Wad Miley’s best season to date, but there were a few positives that can be taken away from it. Despite posting a 4.34 ERA in 33 starts, he managed to strike out 183 men in 201.1 innings and pitched much better on the road.
What Boston gave up in return may seem like a bit much for Miley, but the deal will work out well for both sides.
The Red Sox are looking to compete next year so they need a proven starter. Webster and De La Rosa have more upside than Miley, but right now the Red Sox are looking for consistency and were afraid to take a risk in 2015. Do not be surprised if Allen Webster has a breakout season next year as a starting pitcher and if Rubby De La Rosa is a highly-effective reliever.
With Anthony Ranaudo as the most qualified young candidate to start in 2015, perhaps the organization will take a step back and look to obtain an ace and a two starter next.
Headed to the Motor City along with Cespedes is Alex Wilson, who owns a career 3.38 ERA in 44 MLB appearances, and Gabe Speier, a 19-year-old who pitched well in the Gulf Coast League this past season but is not considered a top prospect by the Red Sox organization.
The Red Sox made out like bandits on this one despite both sides winning the trade. Even though Rick Porcello may seem like a big league veteran as he has played in the league since 2009, keep in mind he is only 25 years old which is three years younger than Alex Wilson.
With this in mind, Porcello had his first true breakout year last season when he posted a 3.43 ERA in 32 appearances for the Tigers in which he ate up 204.1 innings and walked just 1.8 men per nine innings pitched. Expect him to pitch even better in 2015 and develop into a star pitcher in no-time.
In the Red Sox rotation, there is no question as to whether or not Porcello could be an effective number two starter because he could be based off of how well he pitched in 2014. He is set to earn $12.2 million next season which puts him on the cheaper side for a pitcher of his ability, saving the Red Sox a bit of money.
Cespedes, who the Red Sox acquired at the trade deadline in the Jon Lester deal, clubbed 22 home runs with a .301 OBP in his time split between Oakland and Boston in 2014. With the Boston Red Sox outfield crowded to being with (not to mention after the acquisition of Hanley Ramirez) it became apparent that the club would need to trade Cespedes.
Now Boston must look to get a true ace.