10 Players the Boston Red Sox Need to Pursue to Make the Playoffs Next Season

Brian Roach@BrianRoachJrCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2012

10 Players the Boston Red Sox Need to Pursue to Make the Playoffs Next Season

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    With the Boston Red Sox sitting 6.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays with a little more than a month and a half left in the season, it may be time turn the page on the 2012 season. The Red Sox need some major pitching help and some clubhouse changes that could punch its ticket into the 2013 postseason.

    With already a lot of the money in the books, the Red Sox need to find low-risk, high-reward options for starters and players in the everyday lineup. There are not too many players who are out there at the moment, but hopefully the Red Sox find the diamonds in the rough in the coming winter months.

    All players that follow are listed on MLBTradeRumors.com.

Gavin Floyd

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    Gavin Floyd has to be on the radar for the Red Sox entering next season.

    He is only 29 years old and still has the ability to eat up innings with the Chicago White Sox. He is 9-9 with a 4.46 ERA in 26 starts so far in 2012. He is only four years removed from the 17-8 record of the 2008 season.

    He has not had a winning record as a starter since that 2008 season.

    Floyd will be a cheaper option with the luxury tax looming for the Red Sox next season if Ben Cherington decides to sell a couple high-priced pitchers to bolster the starting staff.

Nick Swisher

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    That's right Red Sox fans!

    Nick Swisher needs to be in Boston for the Sox to enter the postseason come next October.

    Swisher is one of those positive influences in the clubhouse and will be a tad expensive for the Red Sox taste. However, the ownership needs to understand that his positive attitude and playing ability are necessary to move on from the September collapse in 2011.

    Swisher has averaged over 20 home runs and 80 RBI for the New York Yankees since joining the team back in 2009.

    Sure this means moving on from Cody Ross who has been a much-needed right-handed bat in the lineup. But. luckily for the Red Sox, Swisher can hit from both sides of the plate.

Zach Greinke

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    Zach Greinke is going to have to be paid a lot of dough to come pay in a pressure-cooker such as Boston.

    With that being said, the Red Sox need an ace and Greinke would be that and more for the starting staff of the Red Sox for many years to come.

    If the Red Sox could somehow ship off either Josh Beckett or Jon Lester during the offseason, then Greinke would be the first call they make to acquire the Cy Young Award winner.

    He is 1-1 with the Los Angeles Angels and holds a 5.54 ERA in four starts. He has a 10-4 record and a 3.81 ERA combined with the Angels and Milwaukee Brewers in 25 starts.

Edwin Jackson

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    Edwin Jackson is another solid starter who could be a valuable asset for any team, especially the Red Sox.

    The righty has not been very consistent for most of his career. He holds a 67-67 record in 195 games started with a 4.38 ERA. He has pitched in the AL East before and holds a 19-26 record and an ERA north of 5.00 while with the Rays.

    It would not take too much to be the 28-year-old, so the Red Sox need to act fast before this ship sails.

Brandon McCarthy

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    Brandon McCarthy has really come into his own since joining the Athletics in 2011.

    After dealing with several injuries, the right-handed starter has an ERA just south of 3.00 and a 15-13 record. In 14 games started in 2012, he bolsters a 2.68 ERA and a 6-4 record.

    The Red Sox may have to deal with some injuries from McCarthy, but that wouldn't be any different when dealing with Beckett or Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Cody Ross

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    Cody Ross has been one of few bright spots for the Red Sox in 2012 and should come back if the squad does not look elsewhere (Nick Swisher) for outfield help.

    He has had some huge hits and has most of his 18 home runs off lefties and that is a much-needed piece in the starting lineup. His swing is basically built for Fenway Park.

    His defense has been spotty at times, but he can still cover the ground like a 32-year-old can.

Shaun Marcum

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    Shaun Marcum has not pitched since June 14 due to elbow soreness, but that still should not stop the Red Sox from going after the front-line starter.

    In a little over a season with the Brewers, Marcum is 18-10 with an ERA of 3.50 in 46 starts.

    He spent the first five years with the Toronto Blue Jays and has shown he can pitch in the AL East. Three of his five season were above .500 for the 30-year-old.

Aaron Cook

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    Aaron cook has been a solid fifth starter for the Red Sox and would be a great offseason signing.

    He may be 3-6 with a 4.58 ERA, but he has been eating up innings so the Red Sox do not need to use their bullpen as much.

    He also has had some tough luck in some of his starts and would be a cheap end of the rotation kind of starter going forward.

David Ortiz

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    Even if David Ortiz misses a majority of the last two months with the injury to his Achilles, the Red Sox still need to re-sign the DH to a two-year contract.

    Big Papi has been a prolific home run hitter since joining the Red Sox in 2003. He was on pace for 30 or more homers this season and could have made a case for MVP before the injury happened even though Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera are running away with it now.

    Ortiz is the best DH in the game today and should be treated as such.

Josh Hamilton

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    Josh Hamilton struggled all of July for power and average, but still is tied with the MLB-lead in home runs with 34. He may be hitting .293, but that was thanks to a hot start in April.

    The outfielder has struggled with issues off the field and if something comes up the Red Sox need to back far away from Hamilton.

    If the Sox decide to part ways with Ortiz, then they can go after Hamilton as another left-handed power hitter that can drive in runs.