Penny, Smoltz, Paul Byrd. Tell me, wasn’t the Red Sox’ strength supposed to be their deep, deep starting pitching talent?
In case Brad Penny’s start last night did not convince you the Red Sox are a little light on starting pitching now, a late-breaking development should have nailed that case shut for you. In the waning moments of the Red Sox’ 6-4 loss to the Rays, team officials notified the media that Paul Byrd had been signed to a minor league deal.
Good luck with that. And good luck against the Yankees with John Smoltz on the hill. Maybe Theo will sign Jose Lima in the closing innings of that one. Unlike Byrd, at least some other teams have recently found him to be desirable.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.