The Boston Red Sox are on a tear, playing their best baseball of the season. They are 11-2 in their last 13 games this season, a rather impressive feat for a team that has overcome several obstacles through this young season.
With the trade deadline creeping closer by the day, the rumors will be swirling like mad. That said, the Red Sox for all intents and purposes should remain quiet on the trade front.
Think I'm crazy yet?
The reality is, the team has managed to literally stay afloat through their first 75 games this season. They are only 6.5 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East. The same New York Yankees that just lost CC Sabathia for a 15-day DL stint and Andy Pettitte for a minimum of two months.
Furthermore, they are only a game and a half out of wild card contention.
All things considered, that's pretty damn good baseball for a club that has yet to take the field with its intended opening day roster.
Speaking candidly, the Yankees are going to be forced into being big-time buyers at the trade deadline. They just lost one of the key components to their pitching staff for at least a couple of months in Pettitte. Would you really be surprised to see them overspend to bring Cole Hamels to New York? I certainly wouldn't. Its only money after all.
As for the Red Sox, they literally will be making huge mid-season acquisitions by merely getting players back off of the disabled list.
Think about it for a minute.
Are the Red Sox going to be contenders or pretenders second half of the season?
Jacoby Ellsbury, the 2011 AL MVP runner up will be re-joining the team.
Carl Crawford, historically a five-tool type of player, will be re-joining the team.
Andrew Bailey, their closer with a career 2.07 ERA, returns to the lineup.
Not to mention, the team just got Cody Ross back as well as Ryan Kalish. Both players have provided significant offense for this club through the first 75 games.
Then, of course, there is the outside possibility that John Lackey may be back before the end of the season.
Go ahead, sigh if you will. The fact of the matter is, the Red Sox may be getting a 15-game winner added to their rotation in September when most other teams only could wish to make such an acquisition.
Heading into the second half of the season, the future is significantly brighter in Boston than the first half has been.
True, the pitching staff has questions. Yes, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz have collectively defined the term suspect. However, Lester has quietly won eight games. More impressively, Felix Doubront has won the same eight games.
Since his return, Daisuke Matsuzaka has been pretty solid as well. Sure, his ERA is 4.91 and he is 0-2, however, he has given the Red Sox an opportunity to win in all four of his outings.
Adding Lackey down the stretch will bolster this rotation.
The team would be silly to make any significant moves at this point. The wisest baseball and business decision they can make is to stand firm, put the returning troops to work and hope for the best.
Short of making minor moves, this team is actually quite adequately prepared to make significant waves during the second half of the season. The best part being of course, the lack of funds and resources needed to do so.