With only a mere four days away from the July 31st Major League Baseball trade deadline, not only will we see many trade rumors flying around, but we will start to see actual trades being made.
One team that will most certainly make a move, and is in no way a stranger to this time of year, is the Boston Red Sox.
This season, the Sox have been plagued by numerous injuries. However, somehow the team has been able to post a 57-44 record, which is good enough for third place in the always competitive A.L East and good enough to still be in postseason contention.
With key pieces like Victor Martinez, Clay Buchholz, and Josh Beckett back and Dustin Pedroia and hopefully Jacoby Ellsbury on the way, the Red Sox may pass on adding offense.
However, the Boston's real problem lately has been in the middle relief.
The Sox gave away one, and almost two games, to the Seattle Mariners in their four game series a few days ago because of bad performances from Hideki Okajima and Manny Delcarmen, after a strong performance from starter Daisuke Matsuzaka and a near no-no from John Lackey.
The bottom line is that the Red Sox need a reliever come this deadline, preferably a left handed reliever. And they want one that won't fail as bad as Eric Gagne did a few years ago.
The person who fits that bill perfectly is Blue Jays reliever Scott Downs, who was made available by Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos earlier this month.
This year has been a career year for Downs. In a middle relief role for Toronto, Downs has a 4-5 record, with a 2.34 ERA. Downs also hasn’t given up an earned run in his last ten outings. This compared to Okajima and Delcarmen, who both lead into tonight’s ball game with an ERA over five and a combined 15 runs in their last ten appearances.
Another thing about Downs, he's left handed.
So with the Red Sox in need of a left handed 7th inning reliever who can limit walks and runs and build the bridge for Bard and Papelbon in the 8th and 9th innings, Downs and the Red Sox are a match made in heaven in a thin left-handed market.
According to sources, Toronto is demanding a "huge return" for Downs, but their demands are likely to go down as we inch closer to the deadline.
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