Red Sox Trade Rumors: Reluctance to Deal for Starter will Cost Sox Playoff Berth
However, a team that, over the past few seasons, has been willing to match the Yankees dollar-for-dollar in the AL East arms race has apparently developed cold feet about improving their starting rotation via a trade this year.
Without that shot in the arm (so-to-speak), the BoSox will all but certainly be watching the playoffs on television for a second consecutive season.
The Red Sox have struggled through a tumultuous season under first- (and quite possibly last)-year manager Bobby Valentine. Even though the Red Sox are a game under .500 and in the AL East basement, they're still in the postseason hunt thanks to the addition of a second wild-card playoff spot in each league this season.
However, with a team ERA that ranks 10th in the American League, the Red Sox aren't likely to make up the ground necessary to get to the playoffs without improving their starting pitching, and right now reports indicate that the team has no real intention of doing so.
According to a report in The Massachusetts Republican, the team is not "overly willing" to make a push to obtain one one of the higher-end starters that are believed to be available, be it Josh Johnson of the Miami Marlins, Matt Garza of the Chicago Cubs or Zach Greinke of the Milwaukee Brewers.
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In all honesty, it's somewhat understandable that the Red Sox wouldn't make a huge push for these players, as each has a question mark swirling around them that could make a deal problematic.
According to separate Sports Illustrated reports, the asking price for Johnson is believed to be astronomical, while Garza won't pitch again until after the trade deadline due to a buildup of fluid in his triceps.
Meanwhile, Greinke is set to hit free agency after the season, and, while the Red Sox are the sort of team that could probably afford to pony up big bucks to re-up Greinke this winter, there's always the possibility that he would be little more than a two-month rental.
Should the Red Sox Be Buyers or Sellers at the Trading Deadline?
In fact, if the Yankees series goes badly for the Sox, it's possible, according to The Republican, that the Red Sox could effectively pull the plug on the season. Rumors are circulating that the team may make pitcher Josh Beckett and outfielder Carl Crawford available, effectively becoming sellers instead of the buyers they've been in recent years.
It may be that the Boston Red Sox front office simply doesn't think that this year's squad is a legitimate contender even with an added arm, and so there's little point in giving up a fistful of prospects to do so.
Or it could be that the Red Sox have not only given up on 2012, but intend to use this disappointing season as a reason to sack Valentine, who appears to be as divisive a clubhouse presence as ever and a terrible hire as the skipper in Boston.
Whatever the reason, as things stand today, it looks like a Boston Red Sox team that suffered through decades of futility and followed with a great run of success (including two World Series titles) is now mired in mediocrity, and it doesn't appear that that will change this season.
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