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Tackling the trade deadline: Boston Red Sox

Jul 11, 2011, 9:00 PM EDT

Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz Getty Images

Over the next few days, I’m going to look at the needs of some contenders as we approach the July 31 trade deadline.

Boston Red Sox
First-half record: 55-35
Standings: Leading Yankees by 1 game, Rays by 6 games in AL East

Needs

Starting pitcher: The Red Sox thought they were set with a rotation of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz and Daisuke Matsuzaka, but three of their five starters are on the DL and no one in Boston wants to see Lackey start a postseason game.  The Red Sox should be able to win the AL East or at least the wild card with what they have now, but it’d sure be nice to have additional options for October.

Right field: Free-agent-to-be J.D. Drew appears to be half-retired already.  He’s hitting .229/.329/.317 with just 10 extra-base hits and 21 RBI in 18 at-bats for the season.  On the plus side, the Red Sox do have an internal replacement available: Josh Reddick, who has been subbing in for an injured Carl Crawford in left, is hitting .393/.429/.672 in 70 at-bats.  He already has as many extra-base hits as Drew.  Still, he is unproven and the Red Sox might bypass him if the right opportunity comes along.

Bullpen: Bobby Jenks was supposed to be Boston’s third shutdown reliever alongside Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard, but he’s served two DL stints and amassed a 6.32 ERA in 19 appearances.  The Red Sox will be shopping for a seventh-inning guy, preferably a left-hander.

Target

Matt Garza (RHP Cubs): Garza has never fulfilled his promise, but the Red Sox know him well: he’s 7-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 career starts against Boston.  He was also largely responsible for knocking the Red Sox out of the 2008 playoffs when he went 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA for the Rays in the ALCS.

Proposed deal

Garza for 3B Will Middlebrooks, RHP Kyle Weiland, LHP Felix Doubront and C Tim Federowicz

For the Cubs to move Garza, they’re going to want to make up for most of what they lost in getting him from the Rays over the winter.  This deal doesn’t net them any elite prospects, but Middlebrooks is currently a better hope at third base than the Cubs’ former first-rounder Josh Vitters and both Weiland and Doubront are ready for extended opportunities to show what they can do in the majors.

The Red Sox could instead part with their top pitching prospect, Anthony Ranaudo, in place of Middlebrooks and one of the two arms.

  1. pisano - Jul 11, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    Proposed deal? you must be kidding. Garza for a handful of nothings. That deal will never happen.

    • Ari Collins - Jul 11, 2011 at 9:59 PM

      Middlebrooks is a top 100 prospect and Ranaudo a top 50. That’s not nothing.

      I do agree it will take more though, given that Garza, despite an unlucky ERA, has really taken a step forward this year, and has two more reasoable years left under contract.

      Edwin Jackson is probably more likely.

  2. aceshigh11 - Jul 11, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    Garza is an incredible pitcher that has had the Red Sox’ number for YEARS.

    I’m glad he’s out of the AL East where he can’t torment us…but I don’t see that deal happening. The Cubs know they’ve got a special young pitcher, and I don’t see the prospects you listed being enough to entice them. Maybe, but not likely.

  3. dirtyharry1971 - Jul 11, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    As long as Jenks is lurking in the redsox bullpen they dont need anyone, this guy is soo big he can be the 7th inning setup guy, the 8th inning bridge, and the 9th inning closer all wrapped up in one!! USE JENKS!!

    JENKS “11 AL MVP!!
    JENKS “11 AL CY YOUNG WINNER!!
    JENKS “11 ALCS MVP WINNER!!
    ENOUGH SAID!

    • Ari Collins - Jul 11, 2011 at 10:19 PM

      Your utter failure to be funny or even semi-literate continues to amaze.

      • bigharold - Jul 11, 2011 at 11:37 PM

        It was kinda funny in a Three Stooges sort of way, .. which is what I think he was going for….

        Forget Ari, … Kudos to you Sir!!

    • oldpaddy - Jul 12, 2011 at 9:11 AM

      JENKS ’11 across the board!!
      +1!!

  4. pisano - Jul 11, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Ari & aces, I don’t care where these guys rate, it will take alot more than those guys to get Garza IF he’s even available. Garza is an elite ML pitcher and those guys are prospects at best, but you can always hope.

    • Ari Collins - Jul 11, 2011 at 10:36 PM

      Garza’s pretty good, but the only time he’s been elite is this year, when he’s also been hurt.

    • Ari Collins - Jul 11, 2011 at 10:36 PM

      Still agree that it will take more to get him. Like I said.

  5. Jack Marshall - Jul 11, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    The Sox will not trade for a starting pitcher. The news on Lester and Buchholtz has been good. They may trade for a relief pitcher, but Albers has been what Jenks was supposed to be. They need a right-handed outfielder, and will get one, possibly keeping Reddick and releasing Drew.

    • Ari Collins - Jul 12, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      Even assuming perfect health for the starting five for the rest of the year (which you really can’t do), a starter would replace Wakefield or Lackey, which represent a huge upgrade over either of them. It would give you pitching depth, another good playoff starter, and, depending on the pitcher, a stronger starting five moving forward. There’s certainly an argument that we’ll get more out of RF with Reddick than we’ll get from the back of the rotation.

      Not saying the Sox WILL trade for a starting pitcher, but they definitely could.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 12, 2011 at 9:45 AM

        Should’ve said “depending on the CONTRACT.”

  6. thekcubrats - Jul 12, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Ahem:

    Sean McAdam of CSNNewEngland.com heard from a baseball source Monday that the Cubs have no interest in trading right-hander Matt Garza to the Red Sox.

    At least in this case, the instantaneous correction of the baseless speculation came same day (whereas the Reyes corrective actually came, from the sMet GM’s mouth, days before the piece was composed, much less posted).

    • thekcubrats - Jul 12, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      P.S. Any actual analysis of Garza’s relatively favorable contract would have rendered this speculation a nonstarter to begin with. Is there any actual work being done on these?

    • chomsky66 - Jul 12, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      exactly. This isn’t fantasy baseball, but you’d never know that from reading these useless pieces. It’s like sports radio, only worse, because at least the radio hosts have access to their home team’s players and manager.

      What exactly is the benefit of a speculative series like this written by some blogger whose only sources are the morning blogrolls? At least blowhards like Buster Olney actually worked as beat reporters and have industry contacts. There is nothing anchoring any of these proposed trades in reality; there is not an original thought or insight in any one of them.

      Worse, there is absolutely no understanding of how current contracts are structured and what that might mean, or what GMs have been saying about such speculations, or any appreciation of how MLB has shifted its valuation of top prospects in these latter days of the arbitration system… this is recycled CW from months or years ago and as all the value of a newspaper delivered a day late.

  7. foreverchipper10 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    “Free-agent-to-be J.D. Drew appears to be half-retired already. He’s hitting .229/.329/.317 with just 10 extra-base hits and 21 RBI in 18 at-bats for the season. ”

    10 XBH’s and 21 RBI in 18 ABs is quite impressive there JD.

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