The Red Sox kept busy on day one of Winter Meetings today, this time trading lefty starter Wade Miley and reliever Jonathan Aro to the Seattle Mariners for pitchers Carson Smith and Roenis Elias. You’re not going to believe it, but I have some thoughts on this:
- Dombrowski is building a behemoth of a bullpen. Smith is the big get for the Sox here, and he’s going to fit right into a end of the game role. Some numbers on Smith: 2.31 ERA, 11.38 K/9 (12th in the majors among relievers), 64.8 GB%, 2.1 WAR (T-6th among relievers, ahead of guys like Andrew Miller, Darren O’Day, Ken Giles, and Wade Davis), and a 58 xFIP-. Oh, and he’s only 26 and under team control until 2021. Boston now has a righty reliever quartet of Smith, Craig Kimbrel, Koji Uehara, and Junichi Tazawa. If the Red Sox have a lead going into the sixth inning, good luck.
- It’s going to be interesting to see how the Sox use Elias. The 27-year-old Cuban has made 49 starts in two big league seasons, with an ERA of 3.97 an a FIP 4.23. He’s got about league average velocity, with a fastball that sits in the low 90s, and his neither his strikeout or walk numbers really stick out. Boston is starved for lefty bullpen arms, with only Tommy Layne and Robbie Ross Jr. as the major league ready options, so the smart money will be on Elias serving as a lefty long reliever/spot starter at worst, fifth starter at best. He’s a throw in, but he’s a throw in that could prove valuable if things break a certain way this season.
- The Sox still could use another lefty relief pitcher, though I have no idea whether they’ll pursue one now or wait until midseason. Free agents Antonio Bastardo or Tony Sipp could be names to watch, especially now that Boston has freed up some extra cash with this trade.
- I’m pouring one out for Miley. I wrote a bit about him as part of last Friday’s column (yes, I’m aware that making him the lead photo all but ensured he was going to get traded within a few days. I’m a jinx, what can I say?), and I still think the same thing. He isn’t a top tier starter, but he’s going to give you about 200 innings and an ERA around 4.00, and you could do a lot worse than that for a number four or five guy in your rotation. The Red Sox were reportedly being lauded for the trade at Winter Meetings, and rightfully so considering that they’ve pried away a reliever of Smith’s caliber, but I’m still going to miss Miley more than the average fan. I’m convinced that he could have been an all-time great character guy/badass role player on a good, contending Red Sox team. Scrolling through my Twitter feed only confirmed that notion. Some of the best examples:
meet Wade Miley pic.twitter.com/J08GW4zyoD
— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) December 7, 2015
There was a snake in the #RedSox clubhouse, which prompted several players to climb on chairs or tables. Wade Miley wrangled it.
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) March 16, 2015
Miley’s first quote with us was one of his best: ‘You can’t tell me Babe Ruth ever stopped eating gluten’
— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) December 7, 2015
So long Wade, may you continue to protect the clubhouse from reptilian invaders until the end of time.
- Jackie Bradley Jr.: Still not traded.
Things are looking up for the Sox in 2016, and Dombrowski and company have gone out and addressed every one of Boston’s needs heading into the offseason so far. However, Clay Buchholz is still the Red Sox #2 starter as of today, and while Dombrowski said the major moves were all but finished after signing Price, I think that the way the winter has progressed so far has shown that the front office is more than willing to address any perceived weakness on the roster. I’ll believe the fireworks are over when I see it.