Both showing their intentions for this season and the future, the Boston Red Sox have been busy heading into the weekend, completing a trade for Drew Pomeranz from the San Diego Padres, while finally agreeing to terms with Jason Groome.
Pomeranz has been one of the hotter names on the trade grapevine recently, and the Red Sox showed just how much they value him and immediate contribution by shipping one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball, Anderson Espinoza, to the San Diego Padres. Pomeranz was a steal for the Padres (in hindsight) when they got him from the Oakland Athletics in a winter trade, becoming the team’s ace and making the All-Star game. Now, it landed them an elite pitching prospect, although maybe hanging on to him would have been the better choice.
Pomeranz is 27, and isn’t a free agent until 2019. He made the All-Star game this month, a first in his career, going 8-7 through 17 starts with 102 innings on the books, posting a 2.47 ERA, striking out 10.1 batters per nine innings and even improving on one of his weaknesses, walking batters, with his k-to-bb ratio rising to 2.80. Combined with his minors track record, Pomeranz has never thrown more than 147 innings in a season, and he’s awful close to that this year already.
In any case, he’s going to help. The Boston starting pitchers are 19th in major league baseball with a 4.72 ERA, with just Steven Wright and Rick Porcello sub 4.00. David Price, despite the win-loss record, has been disappointing, and excluding that trio, the Red Sox have a starting rotation ERA of 7.22, hence the aggressiveness in the trade market for a starting pitcher. Giving up Espinoza is costly, but Pomeranz would have probably cost more in the offseason. This goes to show the Padres are quite comfortable heading into another rebuild.
In more internal news, the Red Sox beat the deadline to sign draft picks by giving Jason Groome a $3.65 million bonus, about $500,000 more than his slot value for being the 12th overall pick. The high school lefty is being seen as someone who can be at the top of the rotation in a number of years, with a fantastic curveball and a fastball that goes to 93 mphs at the moment, and also a changeup he rarely uses, but can develop to be deadly too.