MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Latest Targets the Red Sox Could Acquire at the Deadline
The Boston Red Sox are teetering on the brink of contention.
In order for the Red Sox to set themselves apart from the competition and fight for the AL East or one of the wild card spots they will need to make trades.
Despite players such as Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury in line to return after the All-Star break, the Red Sox still need more help particularly pitching reinforcements.
The only way they will get help is by making trades. Here are 10 players that the Red Sox could acquire at the non-waiver deadline.
Ryan Dempster, P, Chicago Cubs
While Ryan Dempster is the Chicago Cubs' best pitcher, they are rebuilding and Demptser is a free agent at the end of the season.
Theo Epstein will try and move Dempster (per Gordon Wittenmyer) at the deadline and try and get something in return rather than letting the 35-year-old starting pitcher leave as a free agent.
Dempster is an intriguing target for the Red Sox because they may not need to give up much to acquire him.
Justin Upton, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
The Red Sox are loaded with outfielders right now, even if some of them are underachieving.
However, Upton is young, hits from the right side and plays great defense.
Though he will require more in return, he is under team control for three more years and is still only 24 years old.
Trading for Upton would also make the potential loss of Jacoby Ellsbury easier to swallow.
He has yet to reach his prime and still has plenty of upside to warrant a major trade package.
Wandy Rodriquez, P, Houston Astros
The Houston Astros are trying to rebuild and Wandy Rodriquez is one of a few movable assets that the team has.
Rodriguez is having another solid season with an ERA of 3.38 as of the All-Star break (per BaseballReference.com).
He is one of the most dependable pitchers available at the deadline and would stabilize a shaky Red Sox rotation. However, the Red Sox won’t be the only team interested in Rodriguez.
The only reason why the Red Sox would be wary of making a trade for Rodriguez is once traded his $13 million team option in 2014 becomes a player option. With the Red Sox at the luxury tax threshold they may not want to take on $26 million over the next two seasons.
Matt Garza, P, Chicago Cubs
Matt Garza may be one of the top trade deadline prizes which will drive his price up, but the Red Sox should be very interested.
Garza has proven he can pitch in the AL East and has playoff experience.
The 28-year-old is under team control next season and would provide some relief in case the Red Sox decide to trade Josh Beckett or if John Lackey fails to return to form.
Zack Greinke, P, Milwaukee Brewers
Greinke is a great pitcher and a former Cy Young award winner.
Though there are legitimate concerns about whether Greinke could handle the pressure cooker that is Boston there are no questions about his ability.
Depending on the price, it may be worth seeing if Greinke, who battles anxiety and depression (Per SportsIllustrated.com), can handle the pressure over the final months of the 2012 season and decide whether to sign him long-term after the season is over.
Alfonso Soriano, OF, Chicago Cubs
Though this move may seem crazy, Alfonso Soriano would give the Red Sox another power bat from the right side.
Even though Cody Ross has had a great year so far, he is a free agent at the end of the year and even if they re-sign him they could use a veteran bat coming off the bench.
Another reason to trade for Soriano is in case they let David Ortiz walk in the offseason, Soriano could be the team’s replacement at DH.
If the Chicago Cubs eat most of his salary, which Jon Heyman reports they would, then Soriano may be in a new uniform come the trade deadline.
Joel Hanrahan, P, Pittsburgh Pirates
Even though the Pittsburgh Pirates are experiencing a turnaround and are in first place at the break, they are still at least a year away from being serious contenders.
Joel Hanrahan is one of their only players that they would be willing to trade (per Tom Singer) and would bring something significant back in return.
Hanrahan has thrived since becoming the Pirates closer last season and would provide a significant boost to the Red Sox bullpen.
If the Red Sox could acquire the Pirates closer for a reasonable price this would be a deal worth making.
Josh Willingham, OF, Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are far from contending and Josh Willingham is one of a few tradable assets they have.
The 33-year-old is a power bat and signed for reasonable money with a $7 million salary for the next two seasons.
Though he plays below average defense he could be a bench option and a spot starter down the stretch and would make trading Ryan Kalish or Daniel Nava easier to handle.
Cole Hamels, P, Philadelphia Phillies
Though this may be too much for the Red Sox, Cole Hamels is the best pitcher available at the deadline.
The Red Sox would need to pony up in order to meet the Phillies demands and they would most likely need to secure an extension before they made the trade, but the 28-year-old could be the ace that the Red Sox need.
Even though the Red Sox have already spent on John Lackey and Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka’s contract is up at the end of the year and starting pitching is the team’s biggest need.
Tim Lincecum, P, San Francisco Giants
The former ace of the San Francisco Giants pitching staff is having the worst year of his career and that could mean a buy low opportunity for the Red Sox.
Though the Giants have yet to field offers for the former Cy Young winner, the Red Sox could make a bold move and make an offer the Giants can’t refuse.
One hurdle that the Red Sox will have trouble with is the Giants are currently within a game of the wild card and they may be banking on Lincecum returning to form and joining forces with Matt Cain to form a dominant duo again.
One reason for the Red Sox to make this kind of trade would be to spark life back into the Fenway faithful. If acquired, Lincecum could provide a Pedro Martinez type of impact for the Red Sox.