MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Trades the Boston Red Sox Should Consider
The trading deadline is now just 12 days away. Teams are heating up the phone lines to make deals that will improve their clubs for the stretch run. Perhaps no team is in greater need of an impact trade than the Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox enter Monday finding themselves 3.5 games behind the second-place Tampa Bay Rays and 6.5 games behind the first-place New York Yankees. In a division that is almost assured to hold this year's wild-card team, the Red Sox must make a move (or moves) to support their wounded roster and make a run at the AL East contenders.
Here is a look at 10 moves that could get Boston back on track and headed in the right direction in a vaunted division.
Dump Mike Lowell
Mike Lowell has been besieged by injuries and the depth chart, forcing him to appear in just 31 games this season. Yet, somehow the Texas Rangers still expressed interest in acquiring Lowell and the rest of the $12.5 million he is owed this season.
Lowell is nothing but a space-filler on this Red Sox roster, taking up a roster spot that instead could be used on a solid utility player or bullpen arm. Whether it is to the Rangers or anyone else, the Red Sox need to find a way to jettison Lowell, even if it is likely they will have to eat much of his salary.
The Red Sox brought in Bill Hall to be their super-utility player. Hall has filled the role by playing both in the outfield and the infield, but his .230 batting average and sub-par defense are tough to overcome given the injuries to Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury.
Aviles could step in and lock down second base until Pedroia comes back and could spell Marco Scutaro at shortstop and Adrian Beltre at third base. He could do this all while sustaining a .290-.310 batting average. He will not hit for power, but he would be a significant upgrade with the glove and is not a liability at the plate.
DeJesus is currently atop the Red Sox's list of pursuits at the trade deadline. DeJesus is currently hitting .320 with 109 hits and is in the midst of one his best offensive seasons. He is a strong defender who can play all three outfield spots and could secure left field (or slide to center and force Mike Cameron to left) until Jacoby Ellsbury returns.
DeJesus should stay in the lineup even when Ellsbury does return, which would upgrade both the Red Sox's lineup and their outfield defense.
The only sticking point is the price tag. The Royals will ask for much in return for their best position player, which could include either outfielders Ryan Kalish or Raymond Fuentes, are both among the Sox's top prospects.
The Red Sox have their eighth and ninth innings lined up with Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon, but it is the bridge to that duo that has the Sox concerned. Dotel, who currently closes for the Pirates, has 19 saves but is otherwise undergoing a shaky year (4.75 ERA, 1.33 WHIP), which should bring down his price on the market.
Regardless, bringing in Dotel would take pressure of Bard, who has already appeared in 42 games this season and is being groomed to replace Papelbon. Dotel would give the Red Sox another high-velocity arm who could set up or slide back into the seventh inning and replace the oft-inconsistent Manny Delcarmen.
Yes, acquiring Fielder would throw a massive wrench in the first base/designated hitter platoon with Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz. But the Red Sox, who find themselves in third place despite leading the AL in runs scored, want to make a statement to their fans and to the rest of the division that they will pull the trigger on Fielder.
Fielder is one of the best young sluggers in the game, and though he is having a down year (by his standards), he will likely command a robust package, including a front-line starting pitching prospect and a corner power bat, from any trade partner. The Red Sox have to keep in mind that he is a free agent after this season and will almost assuredly test the market.
A package for Fielder likely starts with top pitching prospect Casey Kelly (who has been deemed untouchable by Theo Epstein) and Ryan Kalish.
Gregg has endured a steady, yet unspectacular year as the Blue Jays' closer. He has been up and down for the Blue Jays but could be looked upon as a setup man or possibly a closer for a contender.
Gregg has 21 saves and a 3.50 ERA for the Blue Jays this season, but with the Red Sox he could slide back into the seventh inning and lengthen the Red Sox's bullpen. Gregg also has a club option for 2011 with less than $2 million left for the 2010 season, so he has a team-friendly contract.
Rumors broke this morning that the Red Sox called the Marlins about the availability of closer Leo Nunez. Nunez is enjoying the best season of his career. He has 22 saves, a 9.3 K/9 IP ratio, and a 1.06 WHIP. Nunez can step in and close games or simply give added depth for the eighth inning.
The Marlins are always on the hunt for better-than-expected value in their trades, which could make his price tag, so far undefined, higher than the Red Sox would like for a pitcher who isn't guaranteed to close games.