Following another disappointing loss to a subpar Oakland Athletics team, the Boston Red Sox are seriously shopping for big league help behind the dish, before the Monster, and in the bullpen, according to Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com.
Much as it did in 2006, the injury bug has curtailed a previously promising season in Beantown. Catchers Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek, outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron and Jeremy Hermida, and reliever Manny Delcarmen have all spent time on the disabled list, not to mention Dustin Pedroia and Josh Beckett.
The Red Sox' needs at catcher, outfielder and reliever are abundantly clear, and the front office is working quickly to fortify the team for the stretch run.
Although Hermida and Delcarmen have just recently rejoined the team, both players represent only marginal improvements, if that. Hermida replaces Daniel Nava, whose .832 OPS is well beyond Hermida's .653 mark. Delcarmen put up a 12.96 ERA in June before hitting the disabled list, and his career numbers indicate that he only becomes less effective as the season progresses.
Sources indicate that the Red Sox have "strong interest" in Philadelphia Phillie right fielder Jayson Werth and are continuing to discuss David DeJesus with the Kansas City Royals. But while Werth may be the apple of the Sox eyes, the Sox might not be the front runners for Werth.
A three-team deal involving Tampa Bay, Houston, and Philadelphia may be in the works. If Werth finds himself a Ray, the Red Sox may have to pay more for DeJesus or Florida's Cody Ross.
On the catching front, the Red Sox have been scouting Toronto's All-Star backstop John Buck, but they've more recently been linked with Arizona's Chris Snyder and Colorado's Chris Iannetta, both of whom are under team control longer than the soon-to-be free agent Buck.
Currently ranking 24th among all Major League bullpens, the Boston relief corps owns a 4.42 ERA and has served up a Major League-worst 41 home runs. Beyond Jonathan Papelbon Daniel Bard, and the sporadic effectiveness of the just-returned Manny Delcarmen, the Sox' pen is a mess. They need help.
While they have called up prospect Michael Bowden to shore up the staff internally, the Red Sox are hunting externally as well. Most recently, Toronto's Scott Downs and Florida's Leo Nunez have been suggested targets of the Boston front office. Both players are having excellent years and both are apparently on the block.
Whomever the Sox acquire, and however much they're forced to give up, look for the Sox to engage in a flurry of activity leading up to the trade deadline.
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