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Red Sox have interest in A’s right-hander Rich Harden

Jul 23, 2011, 7:38 PM EDT

harden oakland ap wide AP

The Red Sox entered Sunday’s action with the best record in the American League (60-37), good enough for first place in the always-tough AL East. They boast baseball’s most dangerous batting order, and have been getting strong pitching in spurts.

But starting pitching depth has been a weakness for most of the season. And the Red Sox are aiming to correct that at this year’s trade deadline.

According to Peter Gammons, who now works for and the MLB Network, the Boston front office has inquired recently about the availability of Oakland right-hander Rich Harden.

Harden, 29, has a 23/8 K/BB ratio since returning from the disabled list in early July and held the Yankees to two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings Saturday in a 4-3 A’s victory. Injuries have held him back since his breakout early tenure with the Athletics, but the native of Canada still owns a cool 3.66 career big-league ERA.

  1. dirtyharry1971 - Jul 23, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    Just what the sox need, another pitcher to put on the DL list!

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 23, 2011 at 7:50 PM

      Of course if it was the Yankees who were interested, dirtyharry1971 would vote otherwise.

      • ryanmallettsbluntwrap - Jul 23, 2011 at 8:39 PM

        Your 100 % right , I like the sox but i will be realistic , and give Yankees their credit when it is due , not bash every signing they make or attempt to make , knowing in my head that if it was my team trying to sign that person i would be happy . Some people are just arrogant , let them be that way.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 23, 2011 at 9:15 PM

        dirtyharry’s a complete troll. Never fails to trash the Sox, never backs up anything he says.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 23, 2011 at 9:29 PM

        Why would anyone be happy to get a guy who cant stay off the DL? Oh thats right being a bjays fan has gotten you used to seeing players live on the DL list!! Silly me!

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 23, 2011 at 9:48 PM

        As you know Harry, when healthy, Harden is better than all but 1 starter on the Yankees. Today, I was more concerned by his pitch count. He had to be pulled after 5.3 innings. He is still a tad rusty.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 24, 2011 at 11:02 AM

        Harden has great talent but having him on your team is like having a corvette sitting in your driveway with 3 blondes in the backseat but no car keys.

      • clydeserra - Jul 24, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        the only combination three people you could fit in the backseat of your corvette are small children, so you are better off leaving the car in the driveway.

  2. Brian Murphy - Jul 23, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact that Harden was pretty good today versus the Yankees.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 23, 2011 at 7:52 PM

      Harry is a Yankee fan.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 23, 2011 at 9:31 PM

        And proudly is currently doing time in a nursing home which is why he lives on this site

      • mornelithe - Jul 24, 2011 at 12:43 AM

        You’re about as funny as a CandirĂº attack, and your slams are about as well-thought out as Custer’s Last Stand, Harry.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:24 AM

        Harry is quite capable of making insightful baseball comments. On occasion, I do take him seriously. We have had many conversations on a different forum.

      • mornelithe - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:00 AM

        Never said he wasn’t insightful in his baseball comments, his ‘slams’ though…need serious, serious work.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 24, 2011 at 11:59 AM

        I agree that his slams could use some work; however, he has turned down the invective. Any negative comments he makes about me do not bother me as I do not take them seriously.

  3. Ari Collins - Jul 23, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    I’d be more interested in Edwin Jackson, who the Sox have been rumored to be scouting. Harden wouldn’t be bad depth either, though, and he’d also be good enough to make a playoff start or three.

    • mornelithe - Jul 24, 2011 at 12:31 PM

      Recalling your statements from another thread about yesterdays pitching lineup, I gotta say Beaven did an OUTSTANDING job last night. Was kinda biting my nails wondering if he was going to make it a complete game…the Sox were having serious problems capitalizing on any of his mistakes. He’s definitely a boon to the Mariner’s pitching staff, that’s for sure.

      That having been said, glad to see Beckett deliver, and the O-line finally break through.

  4. haroldb1234 - Jul 23, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    any decent starter realistically available should be considered. harden pitched well today and seems healed for now. how serious and long his injuries and dl stints were important factors to consider, but if harden can work now at a fair price the sox would be foolish to reject him.

  5. Jack Marshall - Jul 23, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    I don’t understand the “pitching depth weakness all season” argument at all. Boston has had four out of its five initial starters on the disabled list, and has had sufficient depth to survive it amazingly well. How many other teams have back-up starters the caliber of Wakefield, Miller and Aceves? Starting pitcher depth has been a Boston strength.

    That said, with Lackey’s elbow a concern, Beckett being delicate as usual and nobody knowing when Buchholtz will return, getting Harden would be wise.

    • Ari Collins - Jul 24, 2011 at 12:15 AM

      They HAD the depth to muddle through when the pitchers all went down, but they don’t have depth RIGHT NOW.

      And, as you said, you never know how the pitchers’ health will be moving forward.

  6. pisano - Jul 24, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Good luck with him, if Boston gets him it won’t be long before he’s on the shelf with Buchholtz, and Dice-k. His medical history precedes him, he’s the Nick Johnson of pitchers.

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