Last weekend, the Boston Red Sox jumped the reliever market, acquiring closer Brad Ziegler from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Minor Leaguers Jose Almonte and Luis Alejandro. Today, it appears that the Red Sox have jumped the starting pitching market, as well.
According to various reports across Twitter (see below), the Red Sox have reportedly acquired San Diego Padre All-Star lefty Drew Pomeranz.
Sources: The Padres have agreed to trade Drew Pomeranz to the Red Sox. https://t.co/eQeG6pXLLx
— Dennis Lin (@sdutdennislin) July 14, 2016
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 14, 2016
According to Bob Nightengale, executives from both teams can’t officially announce the trade until medicals and physicals are completed. Pomeranz, 27, was elected to his first All-Star team in 2016, after maintaining a 2.47 ERA (3.18 FIP) with an excellent 28.0% strikeout rate in the first half of the 2016 season. He is under control for the next two seasons after 2016, via arbitration, and is making just $1.35 million in 2016.
Of course, that’s why he didn’t come too cheaply:
Source: Espinoza is going to the Padres as at least part of the trade for Drew Pomeranz.
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) July 14, 2016
It isn’t official yet, but multiple reports have indicated that the Padres will be receiving right handed pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza, a top 50 prospect in baseball (34 to MLB Pipeline) in exchange for Pomeranz. Espinoza isn’t without his flaws, but he is quite a nice headliner for the Padres and is reportedly just a part of a final package.
As for the impact this deal has on the Cubs, Brett will have more for you later. In short, Pomeranz was a genuinely theoretical target for the Cubs this deadline, so that is one option off the board. His recent success, age, cost and (most importantly) control beyond this season made him seem like a good fit for a contending Chicago team now and in the future. Unfortunately, he’ll head to Boston to help bolster an increasingly scary looking Red Sox team. On the other hand, this deal probably puts the Red Sox out of the market for other available starting pitchers, making the pathway for the Cubs that much clearer.
We’ll have more for you soon.
UPDATE from Brett: I think Michael covered the bases pretty well on this one. Pomeranz, in terms of being a controlled starting pitcher who helps this year and on into the future, would have made a ton of sense for the Cubs. We know they’re looking for a starting pitcher of that type right now, if a deal makes sense. The Cubs don’t have a pitching prospect of Espinoza’s caliber, so it’s possible they couldn’t have pulled off this deal anyway.
For now, we know that the Red Sox are probably all set on the pitching side, and have helped set the trade market a bit. The Padres are clearly selling whatever they can to get young value. Tyson Ross, if he can show health, is theoretically available, though it’s tough to get value for a guy who hasn’t pitched all year. Andrew Cashner is going to be a rental option for a team out there, but it probably won’t be the Cubs.
Your other possible Cubs-related impact here is if the move to strengthen the Red Sox makes the Yankees a touch more ready to consider selling. As you know, they’ve got some attractive bullpen arms.
I wonder, with a little over two weeks to go before the deadline, if a deal involving a controllable starter like Pomeranz kick starts the rest of the market a bit – even if not in movement, in conversations.