The trade deadline is just five days away, and as always, the Red Sox are supposedly in the thick of multiple negotiations. With Clay Buchholz's future this season in some question, the Red Sox have been rumored to be involved in discussions to trade for starters of various talent levels. In addition, they have also been said to be looking at right-handed outfield bats, as well as some help in the bullpen. Here are some possible names to look for on the roster on August 1st.
Reports of the Red Sox being involved in discussions for pre-All Star break start Ubaldo Jimenez have been off and on, and are back on as of today. With the questions about Buchholz's health, the team seems to be looking for another guy to stick in their rotation, and Jimenez is the best available guy. He has shown some inconsistencies, but flashes plus stuff, and could be a viable number three on this team. However, the Rockies are reportedly asking the world for him. In their talks with the Yankees, they supposedly asked New York for catching prospect Jesus Montero, and their top two pitching prospects, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances. If they are serious about that type of package, I want no part of this guy.
Kuroda has been linked to the Red Sox seemingly all year long. He would be a very nice addition to this pitching staff, as he has put up very nice numbers in LA. The best part of his body of work is his consistency. He's good for about 30 starts a year, and an ERA in the 3's. However, he has done this against the NL West, not exactly the best hitting division in the game, and it remains to be seen how he'd fare against the AL East. He also has a full no trade clause, and has expressed his desire to remain on the west coast.
This name has been floated around a lot today, as FOX Sports has reported there are serious talks between the Sox and the Mariners. Bedard is another guy with big time stuff, and nice numbers. He is also another guy who has been pitching on the west coast the past few years. However, he has experience in this division from his days in Baltimore. Personally, I'd take Kuroda before Bedard, but there's no guarantee of Kuroda's availability. Bedard's durability has always been a question, so I don't know how much sense it makes to pick him up on a team that's biggest problem has been keeping their starters on the mound.
These are the three pitchers I'd look for the Red Sox to pick up. They could also go after Rich Harden, Aaron Harang and Jeremy Guthrie. If I had to rank my opinion on who the Red Sox should get of this list, I'd say Kuroda, Bedard, Jimenez.
This is an extreme reach, and one that, quite frankly, will not happen. Pence is an outstanding player, but the price for him would be through the roof. The Red Sox don't have as much as a pressing need in right as the general public would like you to believe. Pence is under control for two more years due to arbitration, and is the face of the Astros excuse for a franchise right now. If I had to guess, they would have to be blown away to trade this guy away. He is not worth the type of package the Red Sox traded for Adrian Gonzalez, but Houston would likely look for something similar.
This is another guy who I don't see the team springing for. If the price is right, then absolutely go for Cuddyer, but I don't see the price being right. He would just be a two month rental, and while he is a very good bat, he doesn't seem to be an absolute necessity. I'd say the Red Sox would be more likely to go after a lower level bat than Cuddyer. Also, he may not even be available if the Twins still believe they can sneak into the playoffs.
If I were in charge of this roster (thankfully for all of you, I'm not), this is the guy I would go after. He is a fourth outfielder type who would not cost much at all in terms of prospects. He can be a nice bat from the right side in pinch hitting type situations, and to give Josh Reddick/JD Drew a blow down the stretch. He has put up nice numbers for San Diego this year. He does have other suitors though. He has been rumored to go to several other teams, usually being packaged with one of the Padres relievers, Heath Bell or Mike Adams.
If you listen to Mutt and Merloni on WEEI, then you have heard all there is to say about Jeff Francoeur. I'm not a huge fan, although I wouldn't be sorely disappointed if he came this way.
There hasn't been a ton of talk about specifics in terms of bullpen arms the Red Sox could be looking at. The majority of the focus has been on the rotation and outfield, although I'd say its a pretty safe bet the Red Sox make a move for the bullpen too. Chad Qualls is a guy who has been rumored to come here. With the virtual absence of Bobby Jenks, Qualls could potentially fit well into the role that Jenks was supposed to occupy. To me, the biggest weakness here is the left handers in the 'pen. Franklin Morales and Randy Williams just aren't cutting it for me right now. That would be the area I address.