Red Sox Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Boston's Search for a Reliever

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IJuly 12, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 20:  Matt Thornton #37 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Boston Red Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on May 20, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Red Sox 6-4.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox are scouring the market for a reliever. 

This is no surprise, Boston has a bullpen ERA of 4.19, which ranks 25th in the majors. passed along quotes from Boston's assistant general manager Mike Hazen from WEEI's Dennis & Callahan Show that indicate the team is looking to bolster a thin bullpen.  

There is no doubt the Red Sox would like to get a value on their relief help by checking in with teams that may be sellers this season. 

Fox Sports' John Morosi passed along this: 

One possible option on the Giants' roster is former Sox lefty Javier Lopez.

Lopez, 36, is a free agent following this season, which should help keep his price down. While he struggles with his control, he remains an excellent ground-ball pitcher.

In 38 appearances this year, he has pitched 22 innings while posting an ERA of 1.64 and a WHIP of 1.18.

Lopez's ability to keep the ball on the ground would bring a nice dimension to Boston. The Boston relievers have allowed 35 home runs this year. Lopez would be a nice option to help the team get out of some jams.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox certainly don't appear to be limiting their interest to the Giants' bullpen. 

New York Daily News' Andy Martino passes along, according to sources, that Boston is looking at the White Sox bullpen. He adds, citing a Fox Sports' report, that Matt Thornton is a "prime target."

The power-pitching Thonrton would be a nice fit in any bullpen. He's made 40 appearances and pitched 28 innings this year. He has a 3.86 ERA and a WHIP of 1.25. He's struck out 21 while walking just 10. 

However, there is a good chance the Red Sox will find the price too high on Thornton. 

Dan Hayes, of CSN Chicago, reports a source told him that Chicago wants "high-end prospects" for Thornton.

The Red Sox will find enough options for relief help that they won't have to be bullied into overpaying for any one arm in a trade. Also, with a 3.5-game lead in the A.L. East, it's not like they are in desperation mode.

Boston can be patient in this search and let the selling teams clearly identify themselves. This should provide a nice market for some bullpen help.