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The Red Sox have a great problem on their hands. They have a strong five-man rotation with two pitchers (Clay Buchholz and John Smoltz) knocking on the door and ready to contribute right away. The logical move would be to trade Brad Penny, but why fix something that isn’t broken? SoB’s Mike offers his take.
You can never have enough good pitching, but the Red Sox are overloaded, especially if Michael Bowden is considered an insurance policy. Brad Penny isn’t going to get them much, considering his 5+ ERA and his most recent outing, but if they can get a spare part, it might be worth it.
If the Sox could grab a name like Omar Vizquel, who was mentioned in recent trade rumors, the defense he could bring to solidify the SS position would be great (can we get Alex Gonzalez back?). The defense looks a little weak right now as it stands.
I haven’t been a big Clay Buchholz fan (mostly, I don’t think he has the mental makeup and that second start no-hitter did nothing but hurt him). His value is potentially really high right now (near perfect game at Pawtucket, lights out in general there) and if someone is willing to send something of value over without seeing him in the majors first, I’d jump on it. They could get a good bat for him, I would think, but that would mean sitting Big Papi regularly (not saying he’s untouchable in the lineup, but wouldn’t it be odd to have Ramirez and Papi out of the lineup in less than a year).
But, does Daisuke Matsuzaka have any value? The dude goes five innings every start and walks like five guys (and this isn’t a 2009 phenomenon). If it didn’t cost the Sox $50M to get him and have the hype machine behind him, would he have any more value than Penny?
Tell me which line you’d rather have:
Penny has been the more reliable pitcher this season, obviously. Time will tell though how both pitchers will end up. Either way, Theo Epstein has some tough decisions to make.