With the Red Sox handing the ball to Josh Smith on Monday and Hector Velazquez on Tuesday, it's fair to say their rotation isn't ideally situated while Nathan Eovaldi and David Price recover from elbow injuries.
Eovaldi is expected to remain sidelined until early June following surgery to remove loose bodies. Price is on the 10-day injured list with tendinitis and doesn't expect to miss more than two starts, although a lot can obviously happen in 10 days.
In the short term, the Red Sox can survive, although they probably won't thrive. But if either of these injuries becomes a longer-term issue, where might they turn?
A handful of recognizable free agent pitchers remain unsigned. The Red Sox would need to be desperate to consider any of them, but at least they're available. Here are a few.
The biggest name on the list is former Astros Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel. We've already laid out why he'd be a bad fit for Boston, and he's understandably not interested in being anyone's short-term fix. He just told Yahoo Sports that he simply wants to be paid what he's worth, and he's willing to wait until he gets it.
If he does accept a one-year deal, it won't be until after the June 5 draft, when he'll no longer cost a team a compensatory pick. Don't be surprised if the Yankees make a move on Keuchel next month.
Next up is James Shields. Big Game James, as he was known in Tampa, hasn't been a particularly effective big leaguer in about five years, but he's working out for teams and was recently scouted by the Tigers, Indians, and Rangers, according to MLB.com.
Shields led the AL in losses last year with Chicago (16) while posting a 4.53 ERA, but did manage to top 200 innings for the 10th time since 2007. He's also familiar with the American League East, having spent the first seven years of his career here.
If you're looking to take a trip in the way-back machine, may we suggest Bartolo Colon! The former Red Sox (among many others) right-hander turns 46 this month and is coming off a 7-12, 5.78 season with the Rangers, but he declared last September that he intended to pitch again in 2019, and one assumes he wouldn't need much time to get into his version of game shape. There has been nothing out of his camp all spring, however, about him actually angling to return.
(Fun fact: On this date three years ago, at age 42, Colon launched the first and only home run of his career. The pitcher who surrendered it? Shields.)
Another possibility would've been the well-traveled Edwin Jackson, but he signed a minor-league deal with the A's in April and should make his 2019 debut this month.
Others remaining unsigned include former Orioles All-Star Chris Tillman, who went 1-5 with a 10.46 ERA in seven starts last year, or former Brewers All-Star Yovani Gallardo, who posted 8-8, 6.39 numbers between Cincinnati and Texas last year.
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