The Red Sox picked a player by the name of David Ortiz off the non-tender market back in 2003, so you can bet Ben Cherington and his lieutenants will take a long look at those players who became available today.
Here are some of the more interesting ones:
RHP Jair Jurrjens (Braves): Jurrens made the All-Star team in 2011. He is 4-7 with a 6.42 ERA in 18 major league starts since. He was so bad early last season that the Braves sent him to the minors. Jurrjens was terrible (6.89 ERA, 1.86 WHIP) in the 48 1/3 innings he did pitch in the majors. He turns 27 in January, too young to give up on. But Atlanta probably isn’t making a mistake here.
LHP John Lannan (Nationals): He was pretty decent for the Nationals over six seasons, going 52-52 with a 4.01 ERA in 134 starts for some bad teams. Only 28, he’ll get a chance with somebody after getting caught in a numbers game with the Nats and spending most of 2012 in Triple A.
RHP Mike Pelfrey (Mets): He threw 782 innings and started 129 games from 2008-2011, going 45-45 with a 4.27 ERA. It caught up to him last season when Pelfrey needed Tommy John surgery in April. The Mets would like to bring him back on a smaller deal. Given that Pelfrey may not be ready to pitch until May or June, he’s not an immediate answer for any team.
1B Mark Reynolds (Orioles): He has struck out 993 times in 3,209 plate appearances over the last five years. Of course, he also has hit 164 home runs. The Sox can live with strikeouts. But Reynolds has a career .332 OBP and isn’t very adept in the field.
The Orioles liked him, just not for what it could have cost them. Reynolds told Orioles reporters that he would prefer a team that trains in Arizona but is open to seeing what is available. The Sox could do worst at first base.
RHP Brian Wilson (Giants): The crazy reliever with the funky beard is from New Hampshire. So obviously the Red Sox should look into him.
Well, maybe. Wilson missed nearly all of last season after having a second Tommy John surgery. According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Wilson is angry with the Giants for offering him an incentive-laden deal and doesn’t plan to return.
Wilson has said he will be ready for Opening Day. But it would be difficult to invest in a max-effort reliever who has undergone two elbow reconstructions. Beyond that, the Red Sox actually have a fairly solid bullpen.