Red Sox still working to add last-minute Game 163 starter, targeting Bruce Chen

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Boston’s attempt to trade for Chris Capuano last week failed, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Red Sox are still trying to acquire a veteran starting pitcher for a potential Game 163 tiebreaker tomorrow and one possible target is Bruce Chen of the Royals.

Their reported offer to the Mets for Capauno was a cash deal, so presumably the Red Sox offered the same to the Royals for Chen, who’s actually scheduled to start tonight against the Twins in Minnesota.

Tampa Bay has struggled against left-handed starters lately, so Chen–or any other veteran southpaw, really–would make sense as a last-second addition even though pitchers acquired this late wouldn’t be eligible for the postseason. Kansas City won’t know whether Boston will still want Chen for tomorrow until after he’s slated to take the mound tonight, so a late scratch would confirm that something is in the works.

On a related note: Anyone know where Pedro Martinez is right now?

UPDATE: Our own D.J. Short points out that Chen is currently projected to be a Type B free agent, in which case the Royals would seemingly need a decent prospect in return for passing up a draft pick.

Once again, Cy Young votes from the Tampa Bay chapter were interesting

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In 2016, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello narrowly and controversially eked ahead of then-Tigers starter Justin Verlander in Cy Young Award balloting, winning on points 137 to 132. Verlander was not included at all in the top-five of two ballots, both coincidentally belonging to writers from the Tampa Bay chapter, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain and Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. Verlander had more first-place votes than Porcello, but being left out of the top-five on two ballots was the difference maker.

In the aftermath, Verlander’s then-fiancée Kate Upton fired off some angry tweets, as did Justin’s brother Ben.

Verlander was again in the running for the 2018 AL Cy Young Award. He again finished in second place, this time behind Blake Snell of the Rays. Snell had 17 first-place votes and 169 total points to Verlander’s 13 and 154. There weren’t any ballots that made a big difference like in 2016, but there were two odd ballots from the Tampa Bay chapter again.

If a chapter doesn’t have enough eligible voters, a voter from another chapter is chosen to represent that city. This year, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News was a replacement voter along with Mark Didtler, a freelancer for the Associated Press. Both writers voted for Snell in first place, reasonably. But neither writer put Verlander second, less reasonably, putting Corey Kluber there instead. Madden actually had Verlander fourth behind Athletics reliever Blake Treinen. Didtler had Treinen in fifth place. Two other writers had Verlander in third place: George A. King III of the New York Post and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The other 26 had Verlander in first or second place.

Voting Kluber ahead of Verlander doesn’t make any sense, especially we finally live in a world where a pitcher’s win-loss record isn’t valued highly. Kluber had 20 wins to Verlander’s 16 and pitched one more inning. In every other area, Verlander was better. ERA? Verlander led 2.52 to 2.89. Strikeouts? Verlander led 290 to 222. Strikeout rate? Verlander led 34.8% to 26.4%. Opponent batting average? Verlander led .198 to .222. FIP and xFIP? Verlander led both 2.78 and 3.03 to 3.12 and 3.08, respectively. And while Treinen had an excellent year, Verlander pitched 134 more innings, which is significant.

Upton had another tweet for the occasion: