The Red Sox are going to acquire an ace this offseason; the only question is who it will be and whether they will explore the trade or free agent market. If the Red Sox choose the trade market, though, a new name has entered the list of possibilities as reporter Nick Cafardo states that the A’s could be willing to deal Jeff Samardzija and, if they do so, the Red Sox will be interested.

Jeff Samardzija really had his breakout season in 2014, going from a hard-throwing enigma to one of the better starting pitchers in baseball. In 33 starts between the Cubs and A’s, he posted a 2.99 ERA and his 8.3 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, and 3.20 FIP suggest that that success was no fluke. The 29-year old Samardzija trimmed down his walk rate significantly this season, moving from a career 3.2 BB/9 down to 1.8 this season, which let his elite raw stuff play up, allowing him to turn in a dominant season.

Of course, with Samardzija coming off a career year and in the middle of his prime, he would cost quite a bit in terms of prospects. To acquire him this July, for example, the A’s were forced to trade shortstop Addison Russell– among the top prospects in all of baseball– to the Cubs. His price may have dropped off very slightly over the last two-and-a-half months of the year, as he wasn’t quite as dominant with the A’s as he had been with the Cubs and now only has one year of team control remaining before he hits free agency.

However, the Red Sox would certainly have to part with at least one of Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart, and Henry Owens in …read more