Jacob deGrom lowered his ERA to 2.18 last night as he beat the Washington Nationals. He is the kind of pitcher the Red Sox need. Sadly, he was real close to being on the Red Sox. According to the great Peter Gammons, Ben Cherington wanted deGrom when having trade talks with Sandy Alderson back in 2012. The Mets needed a catcher and wanted Kelly Shoppach. Cherington had his eyes on deGrom. Alderson was fine with the deal until he checked with some of his minor league scouts. The scouts were pretty clear that deGrom wasn't a guy that should be traded. Alderson took the advice of the scouts and the Mets ended up getting Shoppach for Pedro Beato. Beato would throw just 21 innings after the trade and is now out of baseball.
This news does give you confidence in Cherington's eye and while mistakes have been made it makes you wonder if the mistakes are those made by Cherington or those made by John Henry and company? Ownership screwed up the Jon Lester talks and he easily could still be with the Red Sox if he wasn't low balled in the spring of last year.
With a little luck and common sense the Red Sox rotation could be Lester, deGrom, Clay Buchholz, and Eduardo Rodriguez. What about the fifth guy? How about Cole Hamels? Yesterday we posted why the Sox still need to trade for Hamels and in this scenario he would definitely make sense.
Even more impressive is how inexpensive that rotation would be. deGrom and Rodriguez make the league minimum and are under team control, Clay makes $13 million and Lester could have been signed by the Sox for $20 million a year for six years or the same deal the Sox were willing to give Rick Porcello. (Sorry if that makes you vomit.) Hamels would round out the rotation adding $23.5 million to the payroll rotation. $57.5 million for a rotation of Lester, Hamels, deGrom, Buchholz, Rodriguez. The current Red Sox rotation is right around $46 million. You have my permission to vomit now.