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Red Sox 'fielding calls' for pitching trade

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There's interest in the Red Sox' starting pitching depth, and the Sox might be ready to act on it.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Red Sox officially introduced David Price in a press conference, and in doing so, Dave Dombrowski revealed that they had 'already fielded numerous phone calls' on their starting pitching depth, and would likely deal with their overabundance of starting pitchers next week.

It seems safe to say that by "next week" Dombrowski was referring to the Winter Meetings that will take place in Nashville starting on Sunday. As for Boston's surplus of starting pitchers:

  1. David Price
  2. Clay Buchholz
  3. Eduardo Rodriguez
  4. Rick Porcello
  5. Wade Miley
  6. Joe Kelly
  7. Henry Owens
  8. Brian Johnson

Hell, you could throw Steven Wright in there if you wanted to. Especially since we're also including Joe Kelly. The point is: the Red Sox have a lot of starting pitchers. And they could use a lot, too. Look past David Price, and you've got Wade Miley--a reasonable back-end option, but nobody who's going to set the world on fire--and a lot of uncertainty. I've already gone over this today, so I'll just go ahead and copy and paste that:

  1. Clay Buchholz, who is a disaster when unhealthy, and has proven fragile to boot.
  2. Eduardo Rodriguez, who was impressive in his 2015 debut, but is still a sophomore with just 120 innings to his name.
  3. Rick Porcello, whose late-season surge was the only bright spot in a season that otherwise rivaled those of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval in terms of disappointment.
  4. Wade Miley who, while reasonably solid, was certainly also unspectacular.

Add to that Joe Kelly, probably the least reliable of the bunch, and two guys with less than 70 major league innings between them, and you've got a lot of shots at filling out that five-man rotation with strong arms, but no sure things.

So the Red Sox need depth. They need depth so that the 2016 Red Sox don't end up looking like the 2011 Red Sox trotting out Kyle Weiland and Andrew Miller, Starting Pitcher in September. But perhaps they don't need all of it.

If the Red Sox do make a trade here, though, there's no saying which way they intend to go. It would make more sense to trade someone like Joe Kelly, who is currently likely the sixth man, on the outside looking in, than it would to trade any of the four non-price options. The last thing they need is more uncertainty. And if they were looking to trade, say, Clay Buchholz to then acquire a more sure thing, that wouldn't really address the surplus situation.

And no, they can't trade Rick Porcello. Nobody is trading for that contract until he shows more than he did in 2015.

As for Owens and Johnson, either one is a possibility, but Joe Kelly is getting awfully close to the point where the Red Sox are going to have to keep him up in the majors, while Johnson and Owens won't really put the Sox in any awkward positions for a while.

To make a long story short: Joe Kelly Has Great Stuff. Somebody trade for him.