The Red Sox should have a better idea of the cost of pitching now
The Boston Red Sox are looking to sign a big-name pitcher this off-season. Now they know how much it’s going to cost them.
Ironically, it’s former Red Sox President of Baseball Ops Dave Dombrowski who has set the market. The Philadelphia Phillies are retaining starter Aaron Nola with a seven-year extension worth $172 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. That averages out to about $24.6 million per season.
That’s actually a reasonable AAV these days. Nola will be merely the 10th-highest paid pitcher in baseball in 2024 (via Spotrac). So, the Red Sox should be able to land one of the remaining big free-agent pitchers at around that price.
They’re expected to make a run at signing Japanese free agent Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who has the advantage of being younger and entering his prime at 25 years old. Reigning NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell turns 31 next month and should be more expensive than Nola.
The Red Sox have also been linked to 30-year-old Jordan Montgomery. He seems like the best comp for the Nola deal, of the best pitchers available.
Snell might fetch a price tag closer to the top of the money ranks, but a deal for Montgomery or even Yoshinobu could be closer to Nola. All of them rank in our top-10 free agents of the MLB off-season, which you can read below.
MLB free agent rankings: The top-20 players available in 2023
Baseball is about to kick into high gear for the 2023 off-season. Here are the latest MLB free agent rankings from 985TheSportsHub.com, the top-20 players available regardless of position…
SP/DH Shohei Ohtani
Ohtani may be coming off elbow surgery, which will keep him away from pitching until 2025. But despite that, Ohtani is STILL easily the best player available on the free-agent market, because he’s easily the best overall player in baseball.
A star with both a bat and a ball, Ohtani is a once-in-a-lifetime two-way talent. The concern is whether he will be the same guy as a pitcher when he finally returns to the mound in 2025. But even a diminished version of Ohtani would still be a solid starting pitcher, combined with elite power as a hitter.
So, you can still expect teams to line up and bid to pay Ohtani serious megabucks for 2023 and beyond. Perhaps the surgery knocks the money down a peg for him, but he should still be looking at a record-breaking contract as the top player in our MLB free agent rankings.
(UPDATE: Ohtani announced that he is signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The contract is reportedly 10 years and $700 million.)
2. OF Cody Bellinger
Bellinger is in for a very nice payday, as the next-best hitter on the market after Ohtani. He’s coming off a season where he posted a .307 batting average and .881 OPS with 26 home runs in just 130 games.
As long as Bellinger is healthy, he’s pretty much a lock for 30-plus home runs in a starting outfield spot. Any team willing to spend that’s in need of power in the outfield, or even first base, should be calling about Bellinger.