Three Reasons James Shields Is a Worse Fit for the Red Sox Than Jon Lester
Ben Margot/Associated Press

If the Boston Red Sox are going to compete in 2015, they’re badly in need of an overhaul to their pitching staff.

After trading away Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront at various points in the 2014 season, the Red Sox are left with few proven options in their rotation. Clay Buchholz and Joe Kelly figure to be locks for the starting five in 2015, and it’s possible that one of the youngsters in the group with Rubby De La Rosa, Brandon Workman, Matt Barnes, Anthony Ranaudo and Allen Webster will be given a shot, too.

But that still leaves Boston in need of two or perhaps three new starters it must acquire this offseason, including one capable of fronting a rotation.

Fortunately for the Sox, three such pitchers—Lester, Max Scherzer and James Shields—exist in this year’s market. And according to’s Rob Bradford, one—but not two—of these pitchers very well could wind up atop Boston’s rotation next season.

Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Yet early speculation suggests that it’s not Lester who’s most likely to end up in Boston, but rather Shields, who’s still leading the Kansas City Royals in their postseason surge. We’ve seen speculation that the Red Sox will be in the hunt for Shields for months now, and just last week, The Kansas City Star‘s Andy McCullough labeled Boston as “the early favorite” to land Shields.

There’s no question that signing Shields would be a boon to the Red Sox rotation. The 32-year-old pitched 227 innings with a 3.21 ERA in 2014 and has been one of the most consistent starters in the game over the past six or seven seasons. He doesn’t belong in the elite tier of starters in the game, but he’s a …read more