When that didn’t happen, the club had no choice but to start looking elsewhere for a rotation arm, and Steven Matz was one guy on Boston’s radar.
The Red Sox were frequently mentioned as possible suitors for the 30-year-old.
But Matz recently made his decision, and he won’t be spending the 2022 season in a Red Sox uniform.
Instead, he’ll be throwing pitches for the St. Louis Cardinals
Left-hander Steven Matz and the St. Louis Cardinals are in agreement on a four-year, $44 million contract, pending physical, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. Matz is coming off a career-best season and has a chance to get to $48 million and will receive a signing bonus.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 24, 2021
This leaves Boston with some major rotation question marks.
How can the club address that issue?
Boston’s rotation looks very thin right now.
At best, the team can say it has four starters in place.
Houck spent some of the 2021 season as a reliever, though, and it seems like the Red Sox would rather use him in that capacity for now.
Given that, it seems like Boston would be wise to sign two starters this offseason.
The club could probably get by with just one rotation addition, but two would be ideal.
With Matz off the market, who else could the Red Sox go after?
Let’s take a look.
Even with a few key names off the board, this free-agent class is still loaded with quality starting pitchers.
Stroman has been pretty active on Twitter amid his free-agent sweepstakes, and he shouted out Red Sox fans for their recruiting efforts to get him to Boston.
Cubs, Astros, Red Sox, Padres, and Giants fans are super active too. Love feeling the love!
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) November 21, 2021
Stroman would be a fantastic addition for the Red Sox, as would any of the starters listed above.
But if the team would rather ink an arm that would likely require less of a financial commitment, there are plenty of free agents who fit that description.
Each of those guys would come with risks (i.e. health and/or age concerns), but all three showed in 2021 that they still have some gas left in the tank.
It might be worth rolling the dice on one of them.
In an ideal offseason, the Red Sox would sign one of the superstar arms listed earlier in addition to adding one of the mid-tier guys we just talked about.
That would provide the club with a couple of really solid options to fill in its rotation holes.
It remains to be seen which direction the Red Sox will go here, but it definitely seems like the organization is aware of the fact that the rotation needs to be addressed.
Otherwise, Chaim Bloom and company wouldn’t have been involved in the Matz sweepstakes.
The organization is trying to get back to the postseason in 2022 after going on a deep run to the ALCS in 2021.