It's finally here: the trade deadline. All of the speculation ends today. Rumors will be proven as fact or simply wilt away into the forgotten rumor pile.
The hour is rapidly approaching when Red Sox fans will find out the plan of GM Ben Cherington and company. Will the Red Sox sell? Will they buy? Will they do nothing?
Signs are pointing to the Red Sox doing nothing major at all.
With that said, here are some rumors that have been reported today—July 31—concerning the Red Sox.
Josh Beckett has been the big name headed into today's trade deadline.
Speculation has run rampant that Cherington will deal Beckett before today's 4 pm deadline.
Texas and Atlanta were targets because Red Sox believe Beckett would waive his 10-and-5 rights if they struck a deal with either team.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 30, 2012
But even with the ongoing chatter nothing appears close on Beckett.
Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com tweeted:
Team source: Sox will not trade Josh Beckett before trading deadline.— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) July 31, 2012
Beckett will most likely be on the mound tonight against the Detroit Tigers.
Kelly Shoppach has been a bright spot for the Red Sox this season.
In 42 games he has hit .261, with five home runs and 15 RBI. Those are exactly the kind of numbers you want out of your backup catcher.
But with prospect Ryan Lavarnway waiting in the wings, it may be time to deal Shoppach.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com echoes this sentiment:
#redsox shopping shoppach. solid catcher but it's time to bring up lavarnway. tb, nats & mets could use.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 31, 2012
The Red Sox would lose defense behind the plate if they do deal Shoppach. That could be a small price to pay to give Lavarnway a few months of big-league action.
In Triple-A Pawtucket, Lavarnway has hit .298, with eight home runs and 43 RBI. He has an OPS of .825 and could be the catcher of the future for Boston.
What did the scouts see?
Masterson allowed eight earned runs in 5.2 innings pitched against the lowly Minnesota Twins. Still, that did not sway Boston's interest in the 27-year-old righty.
As recently as July 30, the Red Sox were still interested in Masterson.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweeted:
Even though the Red Sox saw Justin Masterson at his worst recently they remain interested.
— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) July 30, 2012
Masterson is 7-9, with a 4.47 ERA in 22 starts this season.
He does eat up a lot of innings. Last season he pitched 216 innings and this season he's eaten up 139 innings. If this is not part of some larger move, the link to Masterson is a little puzzling at this point.
The Red Sox have been linked to Matt Garza for weeks now. But it does not appear Garza is headed to Boston.
The Red Sox were finally not on a list of teams linked to Garza.
But even the Rangers appear out of the running for the Cubs starter.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweeted:
As for the Red Sox, Nick Cafardo tweeted:
Source: At this hour the Red Sox are not one of the teams involved with trade talks on Matt Garza.— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) July 31, 2012
His recent injury may have scared off potential suitors.
On July 27, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reported:
The talented pitcher is fresh off an MRI that showed only some minor fluid retention in his right arm. Garza was forced to leave his most-recent start on July 22 with cramping after just three innings in the books.
Unless a last second deal presents itself, it appears Garza is staying in Chicago this season.