IMO with or without Mookie the Sox’s performance for the foreseeable future comes down to our starting pitching which is a scary thought. For better or worse we are probably stuck with Sale, Price, and Eovaldi unless we eat a significant portion of their contracts in a trade, but what’s the point of that if we are looking to get their contracts off the books. All 3 have a hard time staying healthy for an entire season, and are in their 30’s.
My idea to remedy this, and lessen the burden on all 3 is to get not 1 but 2 starting pitchers which are hopefully an improvement over Porcello. Maybe one of the minor leaguers like Houck surprises us, and becomes one of those guys.
By having 2 additional SPs ready to step in I’d move Eovaldi to a swing role between the bullpen and starter when needed, or at times go with a 6 man rotation if everyone happens to be healthy during the dog days of the season. (Next year will be the first season with a 26 man roster so it shouldn’t hurt our bullpen if we did this at various times.)
This would lessen the need for the likes of Johnson, Velasquez, Weber ect stepping into the rotation which really hurt us this season.
I haven’t even mentioned Erod yet. He has quietly turned into our most dependable starter who really wasn’t a part of last year’s post season success. A big decision will need to be made within the next year or 2 if we extend him, and at what cost.
I do like our starting pitchers on the lower levels of the farm Mata, Song, Groome that I hope we hold onto for the future, and hopefully at least 1 sticks.