Sox whiff on not getting Gaudin, Pavano

After the John Smoltz debacle of last night, you would have thought that the Red Sox would have been on the hunt for starting pitching.

Apparently not. Apparently, the Red Sox are more than willing to continue ahead with two aces and three No. 6 starters while waiting around for Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield to return — if they even do so, never mind returning to effectiveness.

Two starting pitchers switched teams: the San Diego Padres dealt Chad Gaudin to the New York Yankees during the game last night while the Minnesota Twins just picked up Carl Pavano today from the Cleveland Indians. And the Red Sox sat on their hands.

You may be saying to yourself, “Chad Gaudin? Carl Pavano? Come on!”

Sure, they aren’t any great shakes, but are they better than who the Sox are running out there? Take a look for yourself:

Clay Buchholz
Chad Gaudin
Carl Pavano
Brad Penny
John Smoltz

Gaudin and Pavano have better FIPs than anyone on the Sox. John Smoltz looks like he either needs to try to revive his career in the bullpen or head off to the Senior PGA Tour. Clay Buchholz looks like he can’t get his head screwed on straight while Brad Penny insists on looking at babes down the third-base line in the middle of his windup.

And there Gaudin and Pavano putter along: not necessarily the model of consistency, but the model of improvement. Gaudin will open his Yankees career in the bullpen, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to see him overtake Sergio Mitre as the No. 5 starter. Pavano will give the Twins a shot in the arm they need after losing Kevin Slowey for the year.

The Sox are in tatters right now and will be shut out in October if they insist on trying to limp by with the rotation as comprised.

Yes, the team has Paul Byrd in reserve and he should be good to go around the first of September. Yes, Byrd had a solid 4.78 ERA in eight starts for the Sox down the stretch last year, averaging just over 6.1 innings. But Byrd hasn’t pitched at all so far this year and let’s be honest — he’s not going to be the one to propel the Sox into the playoffs.

Relying on Daisuke Matsuzaka and his horrendous showing so far this year is foolhardy. Tim Wakefield has a nerve problem that has stretched to his leg and I’m wondering if this is it for him. Michael Bowden is puttering away in Triple-A, posting a 3.40 ERA in 20 starts over 103.1 innings. However, the Sox don’t seem too enthused with Bowden and an NL scout said Bowden “didn’t look very good at all” in his Wednesday start.

It makes it all the more baffling why Theo allowed Gaudin and Pavano to slip through his fingers. Of course, Theo could have other things cooking: maybe a Doug Davis here, a Jon Garland there, a Bronson Arroyo/Aaron Harang possibility bouncing around in his pocket, whatever.

But right now, all we have to go on is this:

Starters traded in August whose FIPs are better than the three starters the Sox are throwing out there now: 2
Starters traded in August to the Red Sox: 0

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Umm, don’t know about the Gaudin thing, but didn’t Pavano go to a team with a worse record than Boston?  Do we know if he cleared waivers, or did the Twins claim him (which would effectively have blocked the Red Sox from making a trade)?

Then again, I’m not sure why Brad Penny’s windup is in this discussion, so perhaps I should just let it go.

Evan Brunell
Evan Brunell

Haha, I was poking fun at Penny’s windup because in the middle of it, he looks down the third base line, he takes his eye off the catcher. It’s annoying when he does that when he sucks. When he pitches good, it’s cool.

The Twins do indeed have a worse record, and it is entirely possible that the Twins claimed Pavano. I am going off the assumption Pavano cleared waivers, however.


OK.  It might be good to know for sure if someone was avaiable before you criticize Theo for not making the trade.

Dan Novick
Dan Novick

Interesting how Yankee fans and Red Sox fans react to this trade. My dad, who is a Yankees fan, seems utterly convinced that Gaudin is the worst pitcher since Shawn Chacon. And you’re here saying he would have been a good pickup. I agree with you and I’m happy the Yanks got him.

Evan Brunell
Evan Brunell

Just a followup, as it’s only fair: I’m hearing the Twins did in fact claim Pavano off waivers prior to making the deal. So Theo gets a pass.

Is it too pessimistic of me to think, though, that Theo still wouldn’t have made a move? He didn’t for Gaudin, and apparently Junichi Tazawa is now the No. 5 starter for the Sox.


Gaudin’s got an ERA over 5 this season in the weaker league and in the best pitchers’ park in the game. Through his entire career, he’s been a back-of-the-bullpen/spot starter/quad-A type. He might be an improvement on Sergio Mitre, but I have a hard time seeing him as the answer to the Sox’ pitching problems. And I have no problem with Theo giving him a pass.