Could Marlins' latest reported signing set up a trade with Red Sox? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Marlins have agreed to a contract with veteran right-hander Johnny Cueto, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported late Monday night. Cueto, who posted a 3.35 ERA for the Chicago White Sox last season, is still a solid starting pitcher at age 36 and should bolster what's already a very crowded Miami rotation.
Might that rotation be too crowded, perhaps?
Even before the Marlins landed Cueto, reports suggested they'd be willing to trade one of their young starting pitchers. According to the Miami Herald, Miami has shown interest in young Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas, and The Athletic's Jim Bowden reported last week that Boston was "working on" potential trades with the Marlins.
Miami's addition of Cueto only heightens the possibility that it trades a young starter, with Pablo Lopez, Jesus Luzardo, Trevor Rogers and Edward Cabrera all potential options. (Reigning National League Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara almost certainly will be off the table.)
The Red Sox could use a young starter with upside, as its current rotation includes the oft-injured Chris Sale, soon-to-be-30-year-old Nick Pivetta, 36-year-old Corey Kluber, the still-unproven Brayan Bello and two bullpen transfers in Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houck.
The 26-year-old Lopez is the most proven of Miami's starters with a 3.94 ERA over five seasons. But Luzardo, Rogers and Cabrera all have plenty of upside, and if Boston is willing to move Casas, it sounds like a deal could be made -- especially after Cueto's addition in Miami.