MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 20: Yoshinobu Yamamoto #18 of Team Japan reacts in the fifth inning against Team Mexico during the World Baseball Classic Semifinals at loanDepot park on March 20, 2023 in Miami, Florida.
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Red Sox Pursuing Two Top International Free Agents

No team has more World Series titles this century than the Boston Red Sox. Times have been tough lately, though. New chief baseball officer Craig Breslow is aware of that. It looks like he plans on swinging for the fences in free agency to change his club's current outlook.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported on Wednesday that former Red Sox hurler Eduardo Rodriguez agreed to a four-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that Boston was interested in a reunion with the lefty. But instead of pursuing him harder, they've opted to focus on two international free agents: Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shota Imanaga.

The widespread interest in Yamamoto has been reported quite a bit. About half of MLB's teams have been connected to him in some way over the past year. The three-time NPB MVP Award winner is planning on meeting with teams face-to-face soon to decide where to sign. One of those in-person meetings will be with the Yankees.

No free-agent pitcher has the resume that Yamamoto brings to the table. Across seven seasons (967.2 innings), he's produced a 75-30 record with a 1.72 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 986 strikeouts. Imanaga is no slouch, though. He's pitched in the NPB for eight years (1,129.2 innings), producing a 74-55 record with a 2.96 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 1,183 strikeouts.

It would be quite the double whammy if the Red Sox could land both hurlers. Boston's starting staff produced a 4.68 ERA and 9.1 fWAR as a group in 2023, both of which ranked within the bottom third of baseball.

Roster Resource currently has Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Brayan Bello, Kutter Crawford, and Tanner Houck plugged into the Red Sox rotation. So, yeah — an upgrade or two wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

MLB's American League East division is no joke. The Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, and Toronto Blue Jays all just reached the postseason this past October. While the Yankees didn't, things are looking up for them after making the biggest offseason splash thus far by acquiring Juan Soto.

Boston has finished last in the division three times over the past four years, including each of the last two seasons. They need to do something before they get left in the dust, so their interest in the top of the free-agent rotation market makes a lot of sense.

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