Red Sox Seek Stand-In for Disappointing David Ortiz

Anthony EmersonAnalyst IJune 5, 2009

MILWAUKEE - MAY 14: J.J. Hardy #7 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits the ball against the Florida Marlins on May 14, 2009 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Brewers defeated the Marlins 5-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The trade winds are blowing at full force, and it's only June 5.

In the eye of the storm, you'll find the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox apparently have been shopping around players such as Brad Penny, Daniel Bard, Julio Lugo, and pitching prospect Michael Bowden—all in hopes of acquiring a strong bat to make up for designated hitter David Ortiz's lack of production.

The Red Sox are tied for first in the AL East without Big Papi, proving their ability to succeed regardless. But if the Sox could get another 30-homer, 90-RBI bat, they could pull away in the division.

I like J.J. Hardy. Hardy is a young, powerful shotstop for the Milwaukee Brewers. He could hit 30 homers and get 100-plus RBI. However, this year Hardy's off to a relatively slow start, hitting .238 with five homers, 24 RBI, and 41 hits in 47 games.

The Astros' Miguel Tejada is another good—albeit 35-year-old—shortstop. Tejada's best years could be back in Oakland and Baltimore, but he will probably boast a higher average than Ortiz.

So far this season, Tejada's off to a phenomenal start, hitting .350 with six home runs and 32 RBI. He has 76 hits in 53 games. Despite all these stats, I still don't like Tejada as much as I like Hardy.

The man who could be best suited for replacing Ortiz at the DH position is probably Adam Dunn. Dunn is an excellent power hitter with, unfortunately, a lot of strikeouts. Dunn signed to a one-year deal by the Washington Nationals.

So far this season, he's hitting .261 with 16 homers, 42 RBI, and 49 hits in 53 games. I see Dunn as an almost-to-last stop-gag for the Red Sox.

The Baltimore Orioles are 54 games into the season, and they have four potential playoff teams in front of them in the division. It appears as if the annual laughing stock of the AL East are going to be sellers at the trade deadline, but who can they sell?

Aubrey Huff is basically the only option. Huff is a moderately good power hitter who can hit for a decent average. So far this season, Huff is hitting .268 with eight home runs and 29 RBI. He has 55 hits in 54 games this year. I see Huff coming to the Red Sox only if they couldn't get any of the other players on their wish list.