2011 Boston Red Sox Trade Deadline Possibilities

Posted: July 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Boston Red Sox are heavy favourites to participate in and win the World Series this October. The Red Sox lead the American League in wins, and winning percentage and unless they implode and suffer an epic collapse they will make the playoffs. The Boston Red Sox are loaded with talent and have very few weaknesses. Boston’s main objective before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31st should be to acquire right field help, and depth for the starting rotation. Currently Clay Buchholz is on the disabled list and Jon Lester just returned from the DL on Monday. John Lackey, Andrew Miller, and veteran knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield aren’t the type of pitchers that exude confidence and produce a winning formula. Josh Beckett is a gem but he and Jon Lester need help and a healthy Clay Buchholz if Boston is to win another World Series. JD Drew was placed on the DL on Tuesday and most Red Sox fans would be happy if he never played another game for Boston. Drew’s tenure in Boston has been down right dreadful and a waste of a roster spot. Nancy Drew as he should be called couldn’t hit a beach ball on a tee if his life depended on it. Boston has been playing 24 year-old Josh Reddick in right field and so far the youngster from Savannah, Georgia has exceeded expectations. Reddick is still an unproven player who has yet to deliver in big games. Would the Red Sox really want to head in to October with a streaky right fielder. Let’s look at the rumoured players Boston GM Theo Epstein might be interested in acquiring before 4pm ET trade deadline on Sunday July 31st.

Starting Pitchers:

Rich Harden Oakland: Harden is coming off a performance where he went 5.1 innings and picked up a road win against the New York Yankees on July 23rd. When Harden isn’t spending his time recovering from his latest DL stint he can be very effective with his fastball. When Harden is dealing he’s a great asset for any starting rotation. The problem for the Victoria, BC native is that he hasn’t been very consistent in the last few years. Before Harden re-joined Oakland he spent 2010 with Texas and 2009 & 2008 with the Chicago Cubs. Harden was a great pitching prospect when he first made he debut in 2003 but now he is no more than a journeyman looking for one last hurrah.

Erik Bedard Seattle: Erik Bedard has been a huge disappointment for Seattle since joining the Mariners after a blockbuster in February of 2008. Bedard has posted a measly 15 wins since moving to the Pacific Northwest. Bedard spent the entire 2010 season on the DL with various arm and neck injuries. Bedard is hasn’t pitched since June 27th because of a sprained left knee. The 32 year-old Navan, Ontario native is expected to return from the DL on Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays. This season Bedard has a 4-6 record with 85 strikeouts in 90 innings. His opponents batting average is .222 and he has given up 11 home run’s. Despite Bedard’s paltry success this season it’s clear that Bedard will never return to the type of pitcher he was in Baltimore. The Red Sox would be best to stay clear of him.

Hiroki Kuroda LA Dodgers: Straight out of Osaka, Japan is 36 year-old pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda loves Los Angeles and doesn’t seem to care that the Dodgers suck and have no chance of making the playoffs anytime soon. Kuroda has stated many time’s that he does not want to leave Los Angeles and he has zero intention of waving his no-trade clause to accommodate the Dodgers. Many teams including Detroit, Texas, Cleveland, Boston and the New York Yankees would love to acquire him for the stretch drive. In the last two months Kuroda has made 10 starts and given up no more than 3 earned runs once. Unfortunately the feeble Dodgers offense hasn’t been able to help him out, Kuroda has 1 win in his last 10 starts. Boston didn’t  do to well with Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, and Junichi Tazawa so it will be interesting to see if Kuroda will want to leave Los Angeles for market where Japanese pitchers haven’t fared too well.

Wandy Rodriguez Houston: Wandy Rodriguez either pitches terrific or terrible. The man who occasionally pitches like he has a magic wand for an arm has been highly inconsistent since making his debut with the Houston Astros in 2005. Rodriguez is 6-7 this season with a 3.60 ERA. He has give up 115 hits in 115 innings. Rodriguez is scheduled to pitch tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals. This could be his last start with Houston because the Astros would love to unload him and his huge upcoming salary. Rodriguez is due $10 million in 2012, $13 million in 2013 and has a player option for $13 million in 2014. With $36 million coming to Wandy Rodriguez in the next 3 years the Red Sox would be wise to avoid another John Lackey type of situation.

Ubaldo Jimenez Colorado: Colorado Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is without question the top pitcher on the market before Sunday’s trade deadline. Jimenez started strong out of the gate in 2010 before fading away and ruining his National League Cy Young chances. This year Ubaldo has a 6-9 record in 20 starts with 116 strikeouts in 122 innings. He has an ERA of 4.20 and his coming off a home loss against Arizona on Sunday where he went 5 innings and gave up 8  hits, 5 earned runs, and 2 walks. Ubaldo Jimenez is only 27 and has great potential. The Rockies are reportedly looking for a top prospect in return and may only be interested in seeing what they might get in return for dealing their ace. Jimenez would make a great addition to any teams starting rotation and the Red Sox could certainly use his services down the stretch.

 Right Field Options:

Carlos Beltran New York Mets: The often ridiculed Carlos Beltran won’t be patrolling right field at Fenway Park anytime soon. The now former New York Mets outfielder was traded to the San Francisco Giants yesterday after the Mets picked up $4 million of Beltran’s remaining $6 million dollar contract    and star pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. Beltran is a switch hitter that has clubbed 15 home run’s this season and is having a much better season than his last two injury plagued seasons in the big apple. Beltran still has home run power but he has lost his speed on the base paths and ability to run down balls in the outfield. One thing that Carlos Beltran knows how to excel at is  floundering and failing to meet high expectations. The Mets never got what they paid for in 2005 and Boston will do just fine without the 34 year-old underachiever.

Colby Rasmus St. Louis: Colby Rasmus would have made a great addition to the Red Sox outfield if Boston had the right package of players to appease the St. Louis Cardinals management. Rasmus will now be playing center field for the Toronto Blue Jays for years to come. The 24 year-old has been in and out of Tony La Russa’s lineup for most of the season. Rasmus hit 23 home runs last season and drove in 66 RBI’s. This year Rasmus number have dropped and he only has 11 home run’s and 40 RBI’s. Rasmus has been criticized by La Russa for not listening to the Cardinals hitting advice. It’s also been reported that Tony Rasmus, Colby’s father has been meddling in his son’s development with St. Louis. Colby Rasmus has a bright future and the Toronto Blue Jays pulled off one hell of a trade to acquire him from St. Louis for basically nothing. The Red Sox could have been a terrific landing spot for Rasmus.

Hunter Pence Houston: Hunter Pence would make a great addition to the Red Sox outfield. Pence can bat anywhere in a lineup and has great potential. The 28 year-old Forth Worth, Texas native has spent his entire career with the Houston Astros. This season Pence is batting .307 with 11 home run’s and 62 RBI’s. Pence has hit 25 home run’s in each of his last three seasons and is also a threat to steal a base. The Philadelphia Phillies thought they had a deal to acquire Pence yesterday but for some unknown reason Houston backed out. The Red Sox would be wise to jump in and trade for Hunter Pence if the price isn’t too steep.

Michael Cuddyer Minnesota: Michael Cuddyer has spent his entire 10 year career with the Minnesota Twins. The Twins aren’t going to be contending for a World Series title this season. Cuddyer would thrive with the Boston Red Sox. Cuddyer is hitting .299 and has 15 home run’s and 51 RBI’s so far this season. Cuddyer is not a speed demon but he is a versatile fielder that can play left field, right field, third and first base. Cuddyer would be an upgrade over Josh Reddick and Nancy Drew and it shouldn’t take too much for Theo Epstein to trade for Cuddyer if the Red Sox GM is at all interested.

Ryan Ludwick San Diego: The Red Sox have had great success with Adrian Gonzalez so why wouldn’t they go back to San Diego for some help in the outfield. Ryan Ludwick had his 3 best seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2007-2009 before falling out of favour with everyone’s favourite skipper Tony La Russa. This season Ludwick has hit 11 home run’s and has racked up 62 RBI’s with the no name no offense San Diego Padres. Ludwick’s batting average is only .238 so that may scare off some teams from acquire him. Ryan Ludwick certainly can’t be worse than Nancy Drew.

Theo Epstein will have his hands full right up until 4pm et trade deadline on Sunday. The Red Sox need to make a pitching and outfield acquisition to insure they are have enough depth and durability for a long postseason run. Red Sox fans aren’t going to be happy with just making the playoff they want another World Series championship.

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Comments
  1. pkron says:

    Hi Har, I had a chance to pull up your appearance on the radio with D & C and take a listen. It sounded like you were very comfortable with the boys…didn’t sound nervous at all. Do you still feel the Bedard pick-up was a bad move? He has been pretty good so far. If he continues pitching like he has been I could see him as a starter in the playoffs, and if Buccholz comes back that would give us 6 to pick 4 from. Who would be out? Becket, Lester, Buccholz, Bedard, Lackey, or Wake?

    • Hi Paul Thanks for taking the time to pull up my appearance Weei on D&C and listening. I did feel pretty comfortable with the guys. I felt that I could have talked sports with them for a lot longer but obviously they had time restraints. Everyone was really nice. I got to meet Meter afterwards, and Chach and Iggy were awesome. The Studio is a lot smaller than I thought. I also got to meet Lou Merloni and his sidekick Mike Mutnansky. Dino offered to buy me breakfast at the Weei cafeteria afterwards so that was great too. I was pretty famished. Well it looks like Bedard is pitching a lot better than most had thought he would. He has only given up 6 earned runs in 16 innings and has a 0-1 record. I was able to get the game out here in Vancouver last night so I watched his up and down performance. I think if the Sox don’t turn that triple play their is no way he gets past the 5th inning. His pitching counts have been heavy and I don’t feel confident when he is pitching. Let’s see if Tito will play him against Texas and New York in the coming weeks. If he does pitch and performs well than I will feel better about Bedard. John Schlackey gives me ulcer’s so I don’t want him pitching during the playoffs. I saw him pitch live in Seattle on Friday and the only reason he has the wins he has this year is because the Red Sox offense keeps bailing him out. He is a train wreck. I don’t think Clay Buchholz is coming back so I would start the playoffs with this 1st round rotation. Lester, Beckett, Wakefield, Lester Beckett. After than who knows what will happen. Sox fans have to hope nothing happens to Jon and Josh or another world series could be tricky to obtain. Have a great day thanks for the support Paul.

  2. sherlock2001 says:

    Well guess what, after the Sox backed out of the Harden trade (because of his medical records), they got Bedard. I think they would’ve went after someone stronger (ala Jimenez, if they knew Buchholz would’ve been lost for the remainder of the season due to a stress fracture), BUT I’m sure Bedard will be better than Lackey. I’m sure the starting 5 will be: Lester, Beckett, Bedard, Lackey, and Wakefield, with Miller relagated to the bullpen. Wakefield has been pitching good as of late, but the problem is: “no run support”. Plus his next win will be his 200th in the majors. Mille will be doing “spot” starts here and there, when they Sox feels a pitcher needs a rest. No need to hurry Buccholz back, until he’s 100%.
    I remember when Nomar Garciaparra got hit by a pitch and broke his wrist. He was under heavy pressure from the Sox organization to come back asap. A Major Mistake. When he came back he wasn’t 100%, and didn’t play up to the Nomar of old. Today I sympathize with him. I broke my wrist in the middle of March 2011, and won’t be cleared to do anything until August 4, 2011. (and I mean anything!). The most I’m allowed to lift with my left hand is 1-2 lbs. If I was a major league baseball player, I probably would’ve been lost until at least mid-September, if not the season.
    Buchholz is a young pitcher. They should leave him alone, let him get to 100%, then he’ll go back into the rotation in 2012.

    • Hi did you see what happend to Schlackey tonight? Thats exactly why the Sox needed to go and get another starter. I don’t think Bedard is the answer but at least they did something. I have no idea how they rejected Harden’s medical history but went with Bedard’s. The Sox may still have to get another starter during the waiver process in August now that Buchholz is probably gone for the year. I think I will try and get a ticked to Bedard’s first game in Boston on Thursday. He is going up against former Sox standout Justin Masterson. Lester goes Friday, Lackey Saturday and Beckett Sunday. Have a nice day Michael thanks for checking out my blog.

  3. paulk says:

    Hi Har, I agree with Sherlock in that I think our outfield is strong enough with Reddick in right and McDonald and (Nancy) Drew coming off the bench. Reddick has shown that he has become a consistent hitter with occassional power, and is also a good fielder with a pretty good arm.

    As for the pitching, as much as I don’t want to lose any of our minor league prospects, it looks more and more like Bucholz may not be able to help for the balance of the year, and we may have to go after Ubaldo or Bedard. Texas has a good staff, so getting by them would take 3 solid starters, and having to rely on Lackey doesn’t give me a warm feeling. If we get to the world series, both Philly and San Fran are loaded with good starters, and we would probably need 4 good starters against either one of them. Philly is a weak hitting team, but with their pitching, they don’t need to hit that much, and the Giants just got Beltran, so they got what they needed.

    I look for the Sox to trade for a starting pitcher by Sunday, but not an outfielder.

    Also heard you this AM with D & C. Was surprised you didn’t talk Sox, and remind them you are visiting here next week(unless you did it off-air with Iggy). Let us know if you’ will be joining them.

    • Hi Paul yah I’m starting to come around on my outfield Red Sox trade deadline thoughts. Did you see what Philly had to give up just to get Hunter Pence? That was ridiculous. I’m still not sure what they would do if Crawford or Ellsbury landed on the DL. McDonald, Kalish, Nava, Navarro, Drew. I just don’t see those players stepping up and bringing it in October when the games matter the most. I don’t know if you saw what Bedard did on the mound tonight against TB but it wasn’t worth anything to trade for. He threw 29 balls, 28 strikes in 1.1 innings. Allowed 5ER gave up 3Hits and was all over the strike zone. I don’t think they will land Kuroda, or Jimenez anymore so I guess Rich Harden is left. Wandy Rodriguez is a Jekyll and Hyde type pitcher so I hope he stays in Houston or goes to NYY. Theo Epstein will acquire a starting pitcher by Sunday afternoon and if he doesn’t he is taking a huge risk going with Schlackey, Miller, and Wakefield.

      Yah I wanted to talk about the Red Sox, and my visit next week but I heard a click right after I finished my point on Haynesworth and Ochocinco. I was saying hello, hello, and I guess they heard enough and went to commercial. I still have no idea if I’m going to host with them. I would love to but something tells me their not interested. I barley talked to Iggy before I was put on hold for 40 minutes. Like I said I would love to join them but I think they may have a history of backing out and shying-away from offers they make on air. It’s unfortunate because I’m still really excited and hopeful that I will get this opportunity. I certainly know a ton about sports (Red Sox, Pats, C’s, B’s) and I don’t mind ripping Ann Coulter. My Mom has been telling everybody about this potential hosting gig. My neighbors are all excited too. Thanks for listening Paul, have a great weekend.

  4. sherlock2001 says:

    Thank You Har for responding..(BTW heard you on D&C this morning). I agree they will need pitching if Buchholz doesn’t return in the near future. But, I don’t think it will be Jimenez only because he will come at a very high price. If this is Jimenez’s last year on his contract (I don’t know this answer), the Red Sox will never waste prospects for someone who will (might) be here only 3 months. Don’t get me wrong, if he has a couple of years left on his contract, they might part with prospects. You can’t let Lackey sit on the bench. The Sox could trade him, but they would have to pay the majority of his contract. If a new starter comes along, Miller will be sent to the bullpen for long relief, Wakefield will stay in the rotation. Picking up Pence as an outfielder wouldn’t be a bad idea, as long as doesn’t expect to start! Right now we have Crawford, Ellsbury, and Reddick in the OF with McDonald and JD (in his last year, thank God), as backups. I think the Sox want to keep McDonald, since they pay him low money. OF isn’t a priority right now. Look for the Sox to obtain Bedard or Harden. Obtaining Pence is a plus.

    Now let’s discuss Albert Haynesworth, and Ochocinco. The Patriots have had problem children in the past (Corey Dillon, Randy Moss), and they played very good under Belichick. Haynesworth might be a different story altogether though. He’s bringing to the Pats, allot of extra baggage. I’m sure if he screws up (even once), he’ll be gone. All the Pats will lose is a 2013 5th round draft pick. I’m sure Belichick will have a few 5th round picks, the way Belichick stockpiles picks. But if he plays, the way he is capable, the Pats will have one hell of a Defensive line. Ocho won’t be a problem at all. He takes pressure off of Wes Welker, as he also catches passes over the middle. Look for Brady to pass for over 5000 yards next year (if everyone stays healthy), with Ocho, Welker, Branch and their Tight Ends.

    • Hi Michael thanks for listening. I was on hold for 40 minutes so I was finally relieved when I was able to speak to John, Gerry, and Meter. Ublado Jimenez has one year left on his contract that he signed with Colorado after the 2008 season. He does have an option for the 2013 season so I’m not sure how long the Sox or whoever gets him would have him. The money doesn’t seem to be much ($10 million) so he is certainly affordable for the big AL East spenders. I think if Lackey, Miller or Buchholz struggle down the stretch Boston will regret not picking up a starter at the deadline. Just look at what happened last year. The Sox were injured and banged up at the deadline and they somehow went on a roll and almost made the playoffs. Theo didn’t pickup enough help and let’s say if he did the Red Sox could have made the postseason and won. I’m more concerned about the pitching than Josh Reddick in right field. I don’t know if you saw Erik Bedard pitch against TB but the game was on here in Vancouver, Canada and Bedard was terrible. He was all over the strike zone and had no command of his pitches. The Red Sox or any other team would be foolish if they traded Bedard. I’d rather see Harden than Bedard. I don’t think it will be Kuroda, or Jimenez but I hope they get something completed.

      Albert Haynesworth is a nut who needs to be medicated. How is he not in jail or dead? I’m more excited about the Ochocinco trade than I am about Haynesworth. Their isn’t really too much of a risk. The Pats only gave up a couple of late draft picks. If Albert misses up or steps out of line just once I want him gone. Look what happened to Welker last season. Welker is tame player compared to Ochocinco and Haynesworth. If these guys act up and Belichick doesn’t come down hard what kind of a message is he sending to Welker and everybody? Thanks for listening to my brief appetence yesterday, and thanks for your sharing your opinion.

  5. sherlock2001 says:

    I personally don’t think they’ll go after an outfielder. Josh Reddick is their future, and he’ll continue to play the outfield. This is J.D. Drew’s last year with the Sox. I do think during the off season, they will obtain another outfielder either by trade or free agency. If Clay Buchholz doesn’t return this year, they will need another starting pitcher. I don’t think Colorado will trade Jimenez. I think Harden or Bedard would be a better fit. But, their present staff of Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Wakefield, and Miller is sufficient. By obtaining a starting pitcher, the Sox would still use Miller,and Lackey, but the new pitcher would be used in their place to give them both more rest in between starts. Wakefield with his knuckball doesn’t get tired, and when he’s on, he’s on. They don’t need a relief pitcher, nor any other positional player. Plus remember, the Sox will not give up the Farm, to obtain anyone.

    • Hey Michael thanks for reading my latest blog entry. I appreciate your opinion but I strongly have to disagree with you. I just don’t think John Schlackey, Andrew Miller and Tim Wakefield are enough for the Red Sox to have a strong rotation during the postseason. Lester and Beckett need help and if Clay Buchholz doesn’t return to the way he pitched last season the Red Sox could be in big trouble. I think Kuroda, or Jimenez could really boost the roration if Theo Epstein can acquire one of them. As for the outfield I’m still not satisfied with Josh Reddick. He is unproven and a streaky player that has yet to perform in big games. What if Ellsbury or Crawford go down and end up on the DL. I don’t think Darnell McDonald is enough to put the Red Sox on top for October. I think Pence, or even Ludwick and Willingham would make for a great insurance or a back up plan for the outfield. I don’t think the Sox have to give up the farm to improve their ball club but I would like them to at least address one of these issues. Thanks again for checking out my blog and sharing your opinion Michael.

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