With Tim Wakefield on the DL due to back spasms (shoulder troubles have sidelined him in each of the last two seasons), Daisuke Matsuzaka not expected back until September, and John Smoltz looking like a 42-year-old returning from reconstructive shoulder surgery (1-4, 7.04 ERA), the Red Sox suddenly find themselves in need of some pitching help with the July 31, non-waiver trade deadline approaching.
Cleveland is reportedly dangling former Cy Young winner Cliff Lee.
The 30-year-old lefty has been one of the sole bright spots for the woeful Indians this season, leading the staff in innings (152), strike outs (107), and ERA (3.14).
It's also been reported that the Indians have been shopping first baseman/catcher Victor Martinez, who was said to have been offered to the Red Sox in exchange for Clay Buchholz. Believing in Buccholz's tremendous upside and bright future, the Sox were said to have balked.
But with the Red Sox suddenly in need of both a hitter and a starter, it's now conceivable that they could try to pry both Lee and Martinez from the Indians with a package of players headlined by Buchholz, and perhaps even Lars Anderson as well.
The Sox would likely need to sweeten the pot by including a third prospect, or even a big league player in order to make room on the 25-man roster.
The Sox may have to surrender a bit of the future in exchange for a shot at the present. Having dropped into second place in the AL East, and facing an August stretch drive that starts in just one week, there may be a feeling of deep concern, if not desperation or panic on Yawkey Way.