Which free-agent pitchers could Red Sox target after Rich Hill joins Twins?


Reports of Rich Hill's homecoming were greatly exaggerated.

The free-agent pitcher and Boston-area native signed a one-year contract with the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, ending speculation that he'd reunite with the Red Sox after two previous stints with his hometown team.

Hill would have slotted in as a back-end starter in Boston behind Chris Sale, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi.

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The Red Sox signed ex-Twin Martin Perez earlier this month to round out their rotation, but with Sale recovering from an elbow injury and Price still a possible trade piece, Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom and his staff may look to add another arm.

Unfortunately, there aren't many quality arms left on the market.

The top 10 free-agent pitchers of the 2020 offseason already have found new teams, as Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole set the market by signing megadeals with the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees, respectively.

Here's a sampling of available free-agent hurlers, ranked by Wins Above Replacement in 2019 (according to MLB.com):

- Ivan Nova (2.0 WAR)
- Andrew Cashner (1.9)
- Jason Vargas (1.8)
- Aaron Sanchez (0.8)
- Clay Buchholz (0.1)
- Tyson Ross (0.0)
- Félix Hernández (-0.1)
- Jhoulys Chacín (-0.1)
- Jeremy Hellickson (-0.1)
- Marco Estrada (-0.2)
- Shelby Miller (-0.2)
- Clayton Richard (-0.2)
- Drew Smyly (-0.3)
- Matt Harvey (-0.3)

That's not exactly a star-studded list.

The good news is that none of these pitchers would break the bank if Boston wants to add rotation depth. But if a situation arises where the Red Sox need another everyday starter, they'd essentially be bargain hunting in free agency.

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