Boston Red Sox

Aug 14, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello (22) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

By Matt McCarthy,

The Red Sox are expected to let the majority of their free agents walk as they slash payroll for 2020, but it sounds like the team is at least interested in exploring a reunion with Rick Porcello.

Jason Mastrodonato of The Boston Herald wrote Sunday that the Sox and Porcello are both open to the idea of Porcello suiting up again in Boston in 2020. The two sides are reportedly engaging in ongoing talks as Porcello explores his free agent market.

“The Red Sox are showing interest a reunion with the durable right-hander and remain engaged in discussions, according to an industry source,” Mastrodonato wrote. “It’s unclear how aggressive the Sox will be in their pursuit, though an incentive-laden short-term deal could make sense for both sides.”

Porcello could be looking for a make-good short-term deal in an attempt to rebuild his value after turning in one of the worst seasons of his career. The 30-year-old put up a 5.52 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP in 2019, the final year of his four-year, $82.5 million deal.

The Red Sox might not be the only team interested in Porcello. According to SNY, the New York Mets are believed to be a potential landing spot for the righty, who grew up in New Jersey. The Mets will need to replace Zach Wheeler, who departed for Philadelphia on a five-year, $118 million deal.

Earlier this year, Porcello expressed disappointment that he was not offered a contract by the Red Sox in March. The team signed Chris Sale and Xander Bogaerts to contract extensions, locking both players up before they were scheduled to hit free agency this winter.

It’s easy to envision Porcello securing a contract in the ballpark of $10 million this offseason. MLB Trade Rumors pegged his projected value at $11 million.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.