1. Sign A Top Tier Free Agent Starting Pitcher
In my previous article, I recommended pursuing David Price and Zack Greinke. I wasn’t being totally ridiculous, but I’m not sure that’s the best course of solution, now that I think about it further. Not to rehash excessively – I’m hoping you actually read that article – but that goes against the grain of staying with a young core and not over-spending on marquee free agents. So, I think that Hazen and company should shy away from the likely massive price tags that will accompany Price (pun unintentional, but nearly unavoidable) and Greinke. I might still make a run at Greinke, but without going overboard. Despite being slightly older than Price – just about a year, so it’s negligible – he’s right-handed, which is preferable at Fenway Park. That’s a strike against Price. Also, Greinke has a fair advantage in postseason pitching record. As long as he doesn’t have to face Daniel Murphy.
However, assuming that being conservative in the Greinke sweepstakes means they don’t get him, I’d like to pursue Jordan Zimmermann. He’s a big groundball machine, who doesn’t give up many homers, which always helps your cause at Fenway. He’s younger than both Price and Greinke and surely will cost significantly less, while possessing a high upside. Over the last four seasons, Zimmermann has averaged 4.2 WAR, which works out to a current market value of approximately $20 million for a season. How about buying low on Zimmerman and make him an offer of four years and $65 million, with a performance incentive-laden vesting option for a fifth season.