Gordon Edes, late of Yahoo! late of the Boston Globe and now writing for ESPN Boston doesn’t like Red Sox’ recent moves very much. He notes that the Sox don’t usually sign free agent pitchers to big deals. He outlines Lackey’s health history, making what seems like a more aggressive case for Lackey as an injury risk than I’ve seen from anyone else.
Edes’ takeaways: (a) the Red Sox have money to burn and feel that Lackey’s worth the risk; (b) the Sox were kind of improvising here, having not initially planned to go after Lackey but calling the audible once the Bay negotiations hit an impasse; and (c) this could all be a long play to cover for the absence of Josh Beckett, who Edes thinks the Sox may allow to walk next year.
Finally, Edes doesn’t like the Cameron signing. While Buster Olney characterizes it and a potential Adrian Beltre signing as the Sox building “the second best pitching and defense team after the Mariners,” Edes simply worries about whether or not there will be enough pop in the Sox’ lineup. It’s a legitimate concern.
This doesn’t happen often, but the Sox’ moves yesterday were largely overshadowed by what went down in Lee-Halladay land. Are these moves as unpopular with Red Sox fans as they appear to be with Edes? Edes usually seems to be sensible about such things, but I feel like he’s being overly harsh here.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.