Would the Boston Red Sox deal one of their young pitchers in a package for a star player?
It sounds like they haven’t ruled the possibility out, as teams continue to call about a right-hander with an undefined role on the roster — Tanner Houck.
While the Red Sox have not actively shopped Houck so far this winter, there has been a significant amount of trade interest in him, according to a baseball source,” MassLive’s Chris Cotillo wrote Wednesday.
“The Red Sox are open to listening on their young starters because any significant trade — including one for up-the-middle help — would likely force the club to part with some of its pitching depth. It’s much more likely that Boston would be willing to trade Houck than someone like (Brayan) Bello or (Garrett) Whitlock.”
Through parts of three seasons, Houck has posted a 3.02 ERA with a 164-to-52 strikeout-to-walk ratio, 1.12 WHIP and 150 ERA+ across 146 innings of work.
The 26-year-old has never truly had a defined role — with 20 starts and 33 relief appearances — but has been productive as a starter, multi-inning reliever and closer.
Some have made the argument that Houck’s lack of a defined role makes him somewhat dispensable.
I’m not getting behind that line of reasoning. Boston has far too many question marks in both the starting rotation and bullpen to ship off a young pitcher who has yet to find a role he cannot thrive in.