The Red Sox have a good deal of pitchers on the market, but the Royals might not see any of them worth taking a chance on.
Steven Wright and Zack Godley are two the Royals can pass over. Wright didn’t play in 2020 after undergoing Tommy John surgery after the 2019 season. He also has some baggage the Royals may not want, such as a PED suspension from 2019.
Godly has seen major league time primarily as a starter but also as a reliever since 2015. He had one season with over 32 starts, but has struggled to keep his walks low and typically has a higher than desired ERA and FIP. Not a good fit for a team looking to build their young arms.
Andrew Cashner is a name that’s been around baseball for a while. Cashner could likely come on a fairly cheap deal, though he has struggled to get his best stuff in recent seasons and didn’t play in 2020. The Royals might be able to find some stock in him as a reliever, but there are better options available.
Martin Perez was one of the Red Sox more valuable free agents in 2020, racking up 1.1 WAR on the season, but going 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 62.0 innings. He’s had multiple seasons with over 20 starts, but has struggled with walks and stopping the run. He is not the veteran the Royals need.
Out of the Red Sox pitching free agents, Collin McHugh might be the most interesting. He didn’t play in 2020 opting out of the season. He underwent surgery after the 2019 season and felt he wasn’t recovering as quickly as he’d hoped. While it’s a risk to pick up a player who hasn’t pitched an inning after surgery, it could be one of the reclamation projects the Royals like.
He has experience both as a starter and as a reliever and has had seasons where he has pulled a larger number of games in both roles. In most seasons, he did fairly well keeping his walks under control, and when he has a larger sample size has proven he can keep his ERA and FIP lower.
He presents some risk, but on the right deal, he could be an interesting pick up for the Royals to try and turn around.