Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said of his team’s failure to sign then-free agent Jon Lester, “we’re disappointed” and “certainly have regrets”, reports John Tomase of the Boston Herald. Lester inked a six-year, $155 million contract with the Cubs earlier this week. The Red Sox had gone as high as $135 million over six years, which is two more years and $65 million more than they had offered Lester back in March.
“If he would have accepted [the $135 million offer], we’d have been very pleased,” Lucchino said.
Once Lester was off the market, the Red Sox signed Justin Masterson to a one-year deal worth $9.5 million, acquired Wade Miley in a trade with the Diamondbacks, and traded with the Tigers for Rick Porcello. As a result, the starting rotation is now set, but the Red Sox could still make an upgrade by moving a pitcher. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports suggests that Phillies ace Cole Hamels would still be a target if they can move Joe Kelly in such a deal.
The Pirates are officially shutting down Chris Archer for the season, GM Neal Huntington revealed Sunday. It’s more of a formality than anything else, but, as the Pirates are currently out of postseason contention, there seems to be no point in forcing the right-hander to accelerate his recovery from right shoulder inflammation.
Archer, 30, sustained the injury in late August and was initially projected to return sometime during September. He’s been throwing from flat ground over the last several weeks, but there had been no indication that he was ready to resume starting duties for the club. He’ll end his 2019 run with a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.8 SO/9, and 0.7 fWAR across 119 2/3 innings pitched; not his worst performance to date, but a considerable step down from the sub-5.00 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the Rays and Pirates in 2018.
With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pirates will soon wrap up their fourth consecutive non-contending campaign. Following Saturday’s brutal 14-1 loss to the Cubs, they were mathematically eliminated from postseason qualification. They last reached the playoffs in 2015, though it’s been six years since they advanced past the wild card tiebreaker and 27 years since they advanced past the Division Series.