This Red Sox season, with 32 games to go, can’t end soon enough. But all is not lost in October. Here are some former 2013 Red Sox you could still be rooting for:
■ Jon Lester (Athletics): He has been a stud for Oakland, going 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA in five starts and actually dropping his WHIP a little from what it was in Boston. Lester is going to be the best free agent starter on the market and will get at least $150 million. The Red Sox probably could have had him for $40 million less than that in spring training.
Lester is saying all the right things, but he’s unlikely to come back to Boston. The Red Sox made it crystal clear they didn’t want to pay him when they traded him. Only time will tell whether that was a prudent call.
■ Andrew Miller (Orioles): Same old Miller. He has appeared in nine games for Baltimore with a 1.08 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, and 13.0 strikeouts per nine innings. Still can’t figure out why the Red Sox let him go. The Sox invested a lot of time and patience getting Miller’s career on track and just when he fulfilled his vast potential, they dumped him? The best lefty reliever in the organization now is Tommy Layne.
■ John Lackey (Cardinals): The Boston-hating righthander is 1-1, 5.40, in four starts for the Cardinals. But those numbers are skewed by one terrible start against Baltimore. The Cards are 3-1 in his starts.
■ Jake Peavy (Giants): He has cut his ERA from 4.72 to 3.58 in the National League. His last two starts (14 IP, 3 ER) were terrific. If the Giants are to make the playoffs, Peavy is one of those who need to step up down the stretch.
■ Jonny Gomes (Athletics): The A’s were hoping he would help replace some of what they lost in Yoenis Cespedes. Not so far. He has hit .208 with no home runs and three RBIs in 30 plate appearances. Captain America is surely having fun, though, as this video shows.
■ Matt Thornton (Nationals): The Yankees signed him to a lucrative deal worth $7 million over two years. After being used in mostly low-leverage roles, Thornton went to the Nationals on a waiver claim and has been lights-out in eight appearances. He could well end up in the postseason after the Red Sox left him off the roster a year ago.
■ John McDonald (Angels ): He wasn’t on the postseason roster for the Red Sox in 2013 but has appeared in 77 games for Los Angeles as a backup. If he retires after this season, which is likely, the Red Sox would be wise to hire McDonald in some capacity.
■ Jacoby Ellsbury (Yankees): Miscast as a No. 3 hitter, Ellsbury is not having as good as a season as he did in 2013 but remains a very effective player, as a 109 OPS+ attests. Ellsbury has 23 home runs in his last 1,361 at-bats after he hit 32 in 660 at-bats in 2011. The Red Sox miss Ellsbury leading off, but he’s not a $153 million player. The Yankees face long odds on the postseason after a winter of spending.
■ Stephen Drew (Yankees): He has been even worse for the Yankees (.533 OPS) than he was for the Red Sox (.583). Mistakes all around in this case. Drew should have taken the qualifying offer after last season, the Red Sox never should have signed him back, and the Yankees took a shot that has generally not worked out. Drew will be lucky to get $7 million over one season in 2015, if that.
A few other updates on former Red Sox:
■ Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Marlins): The personable catcher has taken a big step back this season, his OPS dropping from .804 to .738. After hitting 40 doubles last season, he has 16 this year. He’s still an above-average offensive player for his position and has been credited with adding leadership to the Marlins.
■ Mike Carp (Rangers): He’s had only 32 at-bats for Texas and hit .125 after the Sox released him. Carp was a major contributor in 2013 but is back at another career crossroads.
■ Jose Iglesias (Tigers): He has not played all season because of fractures in both shins. What a shame. The 24-year-old shortstop sure was fun to watch.
■ Andrew Bailey (Yankees): He hasn’t pitched while still recovering from shoulder surgery. The Yankees essentially gave away $2.5 million on him. They do have an option for 2015.
■ Alfredo Aceves (Yankees): He appeared in 10 games in relief with a 6.52 ERA before being demoted to the minors and then suspended for recreational drug use. Given his talent, what a sad story.
■ Franklin Morales (Rockies): The Sox gave him away for Jonathan Herrera. The lefty started the season in the rotation, went to the bullpen in June, and has been only an occasional starter since. He has not pitched well in either role, posting a 5.32 ERA.