Before entertaining the idea of Nolasco pitching in Fenway for the Red Sox, having an idea of what the Marlins want in return for the 2014 free agent is helpful. According to Ken Rosenthal and John Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the Marlins want "a good prospect" and " their trade partner to absorb the approximately $6 million remaining on Nolasco's contract."
Why Consider the Trade?
The short answer is consistency and experience.
Ricky Nolasco is 30 years old; he's not over the hill. Over eight MLB seasons with the Marlins, he has a WHIP of 1.30 and an ERA of 4.45. Outside of 2007, he has averaged roughly 170 IP and 29 starts per season. He could be expected, then, to average around 6 innings per start. He has been very consistent year to year.
The Red Sox need to improve upon Jon Lester and Felix Doubront. Clay Buchholz (assuming he finishes the second half of the season like he began the first half), John Lackey and Ryan Dempster are three starters the Red Sox hope to be able to count upon until the end of September.
Internally, Alfredo Aceves, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and Franklin Morales represent major league-ready options to improve upon Lester and Doubront. Brandon Workman at AAA Pawtucket and Anthony Renaudo at AA Portland may also get a chance to showcase their abilities as well this season. Let's just say, the Red Sox have options but these options lack the service time that Nolasco has.
Why the Trade Makes No Sense
Yes, Ricky Nolasco has been consistent. His numbers this year are better than Jon Lester's and Felix Doubront's. He does have more experience than any option the Red Sox have internally for Lester and Doubront. But the Marlins want a heap for a pitcher that realistically would add to a long list of No. 4 and No. 5 starters that the Red Sox already have within the organization. Would the Red Sox ever expect $6 million and a top prospect for either Aceves, De La Rosa, Webster or Morales? No!
The Ricky Nolasco trade would result in a Ricky Nolasco fiasco if you ask me. Sure, he has been steady but he has always pitched in the NL. He has never consistently faced a DH, nor has he consistently faced the AL or been on a playoff-bound team. Those little details are not so little when considering what the Marlins want in return for Nolasco.
The Red Sox's best play right now is to thoroughly test what options they have internally and pursue Matt Garza in Chicago.
Patrick Bernier is a freelance writer who has been following the Boston Red Sox for 25 years.
You can follow Patrick on Twitter @PatrickBern7.
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