With six strong starting pitchers in Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jake Peavy, Clay Buchholz, Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront, along with a number of pitching prospects on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox could become popular in trade talks later in spring training as teams look to bolster their rotations.
For now, however, there are still a number of fine options on the free agent market for any team seeking a new starting pitcher. Those include Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez, two of the top pitchers on the market this offseason who are still searching for new homes. Both have seemingly been hindered by the fact that any signing team would be required to forfeit a draft pick. Still, any team trading for one of the Red Sox would need to give up players in return, making the free agents a likely better option.
Lester and Buchholz are likely both relatively untouchable if a team does come looking for a pitcher. The Red Sox seemingly would much prefer to extend Lester long-term before he becomes a free agent following the upcoming season. Buchholz is still signed through 2015 with reasonable team options for both 2016 and 2017. He also had an incredible 1.74 ERA over 16 starts in an injury-shortened season last year.
However, though Boston does have the depth from which to deal, they may be unwilling to part with any of their starters regardless. The Red Sox have already dealt with one injury scare as Peavy was hit by a ball on the hand and needed to be bandaged up. Though it appears to be minor, one such malady may be more than enough to convince the Red Sox not to deal any of their depth.