Update, 3:53 pm: You can scratch Wade Miley from all of this discussion, as the Red Sox have traded him to the Mariners in a deal that brought back Carson Smith and Roenis Elias.
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The Red Sox could be all but done this offseason after signing David Price to lead their rotation and trading for Craig Kimbrel to close out games. There is still a minor move to make here and there -- a fifth outfielder, another reliever, perhaps -- but the significant stuff is out of the way. That is, unless another team trades for one of Boston's starters, and that could very well happen.
The Red Sox are receiving "hits" on both Wade Miley and Joe Kelly, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. That's not all, either, as ESPN's Jerry Crasnick is reporting that teams are even asking about Clay Buchholz, and that the Red Sox will be listening to trade pitches for their arms at the meetings this week. While there is a lack of specifics here as for just who wants these pitchers, MLB's Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins are potentially targeting Miley, while the Rangers have spoken to Boston about Kelly. Clark Spencer, another Marlins' beat writer, reports that Miami is also inquiring on Kelly.
The Royals are in on the starters not named "Price or Porcello," according to Nick Cafardo, but that only narrows it down so much.
The Sox are in a position to move a starter, as they have Price, Buchholz, Miley, Rick Porcello, and Eduardo Rodriguez penciled in to the rotation, as well as Kelly and a group of minor-league arms that includes Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, and Steven Wright. They're also in a position to make a trade, as finishing up the big stuff gives them time to survey the market without fear of missing out on anything necessary.
If they move Kelly, then they probably need to find another reliever. If they trade Miley, then the plan is probably to put Kelly into the rotation until he proves he can or cannot stick, with Owens et al playing the role of in-season backup if it turns out to be the latter.
Signing Price early gives Sox time to make trades
It's not about having too many pitchers. If Dave Dombrowski makes a trade now, it's because he has the time to do so, and the insurance of having a completed team if they can't pull anything off.
Buchholz is unlikely to be moved unless the Red Sox get a serious return, as he has a very reasonable $13 million option for 2017 and the most upside of anyone in the rotation not named Price. A healthy Buchholz, as rare a sight as it is, is a game-changer in the rotation, but even 100 innings of him can be a huge positive at his price, as it was in 2014, and with the cost of pitching what it is, that's not just something you give away. Especially not when you hold the depth to replace him if he does go down.
It's far more likely that Miley or Kelly are dealt. Kelly, because he's just now entering arbitration and teams seem to love his velocity, and Miley, because he's a league-average pitcher under contract for just $6 million in 2016 and $8.75 million in 2017, with a $12 million option for 2018. Out in free agent land, the up-and-down Jeff Samardzija, who has been worse in his career and of late, just received $90 million and five guaranteed years from the Giants -- the idea being that he is being paid for the potential he hasn't shown he'll consistently deliver on.
So yeah, Miley is an appealing target, but also an appealing keep for the Sox given their other question marks.
Kelly seems to be the best of both worlds move for the Sox. He's not particularly interested in relieving, from everything that's been said in the last year-plus, and he might not be that good of a starter even if he manages to stick in the role. If someone else is willing to give the Red Sox what they need in exchange for Kelly when they have all this other starting depth, then they should move him. Miley is a bit more of a question mark, though, unless the return is significant, slash, more than just another reliever.