NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Now that they've done with additions, it may be time for the Red Sox to start subtracting.
MORE ON THE TRADE
- Red Sox acquire Chris Sale in blockbuster deal with White Sox
- McAdam: This move means the future is NOW
- Ortiz: My boy Sale to Boston? You guys got me thinking . . .
- Yanks GM: Red Sox are 'the Golden State Warriors of baseball'
- Dombrowski on trading prospects: 'You go for it'
- DJ Bean: Farewell to the prospects who were traded away
- Players and analysts react to the news
- Nightengale: Red Sox now prohibitive favorite in A.L.
Having obtained reliever Tyler Thornburg, starter Chris Sale and first baseman/DH Mitch Moreland, the Red Sox have addressed all of their obvious roster needs in one hectic day at the annual winter meetings.
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski confirmed that the team is through looking for bullpen help, and the position players -- and reserves -- are all accounted for.
But the acquisition of Sale leaves the Red Sox with a total of seven established starting pitchers on their major league roster -- likely one too many.
"There's really not room for seven starters,'' conceded Dombrowski. "We also have three guys we like behind that - (Henry) Owens, (Roenis) Elias and (Brian) Johnson. So we're pretty deep in that regard at this point.
"As you know, you never have enough pitching. That's the old adage. But I would say that (moving one of the established starting pitchers) is something we'd at least be open-minded about.''
It just so happens that the Red Sox starting pitching surplus coincides with a particularly thin free agent class. Rich Hill, at 36 and with a ominous injury history, was the best starter available, but signed Monday with the Dodgers for three years, $48 million.
That leaves a mediocre group that is headed by Ivan Nova and a handful of other back-end arms.
The most logical starter for the Red Sox to market would be Clay Buchholz, since moving him would also relieve the team of his $13.5 million salary.
In other winters, the Sox might have to subsidize that salary in order to attract any bidders. But given that Buchholz would almost certainly earn more than that figure were he a free agent, it's likely the Sox can move Buchholz and his salary, too.
If Buchholz doesn't attract bidders, the Sox have an excess of lefthanders in the rotation and could move Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz is under control for two more seasons and being lefthanded won't hurt his marketability.
It's doubtful that the Sox would be tempted to shop Eduardo Rodriguez, since he makes virtually no money and at, 23, has the highest upside of any of the pitchers not named Sale, David Price or recent Cy Young winner Rick Porcello.
It may behoove the Sox to wait before moving a starter, since the longer they wait, the more teams could become desperate for rotation upgrades.