As the Boston Red Sox make their push for the playoffs, they have several promising prospects to offer clubs in exchange for some extra help by the July 31 trading deadline.
The Red Sox are thought to be looking at starting pitching and relievers, as well as a third baseman, given the disappointing play of young Will Middlebrooks.
So, what moves are the Red Sox rumored to be considering as they currently lead the AL East?
Here's a breakdown of the latest buzz surrounding Boston's trade rumors.
Is Right-Hander Jake Peavy in Play?
Peavy, arguably the top starting pitcher on the market right now after the Chicago Cubs dealt Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers, has gone 7-4 with a 4.19 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 69 strikeouts in 73 innings pitched this season for the Chicago White Sox.
What's more, Peavy's current deal runs through the 2014 season, meaning the Red Sox wouldn't have to worry about losing him after this season.
In his first start back in six weeks after fracturing his left rib, Peavy allowed four runs (two earned) in six innings against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, July 20.
Boston's interest in Peavy comes in the wake of right-hander Clay Buchholz's shoulder injury.
Buchholz recently told reporters that he may not be ready until late August, according to Tim Britton of The Providence Journal:
Red Sox Looking at Royals' Luke Hochevar?
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports that the Red Sox are interested in right-hander Luke Hochevar.
Rosenthal wrote on Tuesday:
The Boston Red Sox, a team searching for bullpen help, have had a scout following Kansas City the past week. They are interested in Hochevar, among many other relievers, but have not engaged in trade discussions with the Royals, sources said.
While Hochevar does have experience as a starter who could sub for the injured Buchholz, he has been much better as a reliever with the Royals this season, posting a 2.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 38 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched.
Boston certainly needs help in the bullpen, having registered a bullpen ERA of 3.97 this season, which is good for only 22nd in Major League Baseball.
As Rosenthal notes, the Royals haven't indicated they are willing to trade Hochevar, but they have such a surplus of right-handed relievers that they could potentially afford to deal the 29-year-old.
The Royals are at 46-51, eight games behind AL Central leader Detroit and nine games in back in the wild-card race heading into Wednesday.
Will Michael Young End Up with the Red Sox?
Could the Red Sox use Young?
Sure they could. Middlebrooks, a supposed cornerstone for the franchise, was sent down to Pawtucket after batting .192. His replacement, Jose Iglesias, has only three hits in his last 26 at-bats.
Will Middlebrooks—Last Two Seasons
The bigger question, as Knobler notes, is whether the Phillies are willing to deal Young.
Knobler continues, "Recent indications are that the Phillies don't plan to make him (or anyone else) available."
Despite being 49-51 and seven games behind NL East leader Atlanta, the Phillies apparently believe they are still in the hunt for the playoffs. That's despite the Phillies losing their past three games.
Perhaps Philadelphia will reconsider in the coming few days or in August, but for now, the Red Sox may be out of luck when it comes to Young.
The 36-year-old is batting .283 with seven home runs, 31 RBI and 38 runs scored this season.