Hot Stove 2010: Sox interested in Mike Gonzalez, Soriano?


With the departures of Takashi Saito, Javier Lopez and Billy Wagner, the Sox have some bullpen holes to fill for this season. Even with the presence of several quality arms in this relief corps, we saw the value of having depth last year. Apparently the Sox have requested the medical records of Atlanta free agents Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano. This may not mean too much, but it could mean the Sox are on the verge of making a decision about them and want to make it an informed one.

Do I like these two as relievers? You bet. What’s not to like about LHP Gonzalez (career 10.58 K/9, 3.12 ERA) and righty-killer Soriano (career 9.87 K/9, 2.92 ERA)? That is a lethal left-right combo. I have Gonzalez projected for a 3.45 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 60.1 innings, and Soriano at 3.30 ERA, 1.11 WHIP in 74 innings of work. Add those guys, and I think our bullpen doesn’t miss a beat. They could be better than last year. Gonzalez, especially, would be a welcome addition, as the only Major League-quality lefty RP in our organization right now is Hideki Okajima (Hunter Jones was part of that Jeremy Hermida trade, remember?)

Now here’s the interesting part: both relievers are Elias Type A free agents, meaning to sign either one of them would cost us our first-round draft pick this year. However, once you sacrifice that draft pick, you can sign Type A’s to your heart’s content with no added cost. I find it hard to believe that the Red Sox would be willing to give up a first-rounder only to sign one or two relief pitchers, however good. Getting one of these guys could represent a commitment to signing another big-ticket player, like LF Matt Holliday or RHP John Lackey.

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