The Red Sox aren't going to sign Max Scherzer, no matter how many columns list them as a landing spot for the high-priced ace. It just doesn't make any sense given what we know of this offseason, and it makes even less sense when you consider every offseason this ownership has been at the helm for. The Red Sox just don't spend Max Scherzer money on pitchers, so tossing them into a list of Scherzer landing spots is wishcasting, nothing more.
Jon Heyman recently put the Sox as the most likely destination for Scherzer. Richard Justice mentioned the Sox as a potential landing spot, but at least threw in the caveat that it wasn't a need for them. Readers of MLB Trade Rumors picked the Red Sox as the fourth most-likely team to land Scherzer. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Yes, the Sox could use another pitcher, and one who is an ace would be just lovely. They would only go to six years and $135 million for their preferred choice, Jon Lester, however: maybe a little of that preference was the price difference between the two, but the talent gap isn't that wide, if it's there at all. Boston drafted, developed, and experienced almost all of Lester's career firsthand, too. If they would only go to $135 million and six years for Lester, they aren't going anywhere near the $200 million demands of Scherzer. They might not even reach the six-year, $144 million realm that Scherzer already turned down from the Tigers.
No Hamels trade for Sox while Amaro runs Phillies?
The Red Sox have long seemed like the obvious landing spot for Cole Hamels, but that trade may never happen so long as Ruben Amaro leads the Phillies.
Scherzer might not get his $200 million, at least not guaranteed: $180 million over seven years puts him at a $25 million average annual value, with room for an eighth-year option to push it to $200 million a la Justin Verlander. The Sox' six-year offer for Lester might have been something that was exclusively for Lester: they have a history of trying to avoid five-year deals where they can for pitchers, never mind six-year deals, and the only one made while Ben Cherington was around in a high-ranking capacity was a special Japanese circumstance.
James Shields is still out there, as are trade possibilities for a number of options worthy of leading the staff in 2015. The Red Sox have five big-league starters in the rotation already, and while there are question marks for more than one of them, the situation doesn't have to be resolved by Opening Day, either. Scherzer would be a panic move of sorts, and that just hasn't been Cherington's style.
WEEI's Rob Bradford is spot-on when he says this all "makes for good conversation, but not realistic outcomes," and that this is probably coming from somewhere besides Boston in order to get the Yankees ready to pay for Scherzer. In addition to that ploy aimed at the Bronx, fans need something to talk about, writers need something to write about, and the Red Sox could use Scherzer and have the money to get him if they wanted. It's totally understandable that he would be linked to the them for all of the above, but it just isn't going to happen.