The Boston Red Sox came into the season as one of the favorites to win the World Series. But every great team needs to make moves in order to stay in contention throughout the year.
This season, the Red Sox need pitching at the trade deadline. In their three early losses to Texas, starting pitchers have struggled. While it is likely the pitching will pick back up, the Sox have needs that other teams can fill.
They also have the prospects to entice other teams to trade.
Jered Weaver is a big righty who, after a breakout season last year, might be poised to take the next step into superstardom. Weaver went 13-12 last season, but was hurt by a lack of run support and the bullpen blowing leads late.
He led the AL in strikeouts last season and came in fifth in the voting for Cy Young Award. If the Angels are not in a strong spot in the AL West come the trade deadline, they may look to trade their still-young pitcher.
The Angels and Weaver have run into difficulties recently working out an extension.
Pavano has already been part of one of the most prominent trades in Red Sox history, when he left Boston for Pedro Martinez.
Don't be surprised to see the Red Sox try to get Pavano back if the Twins fall out of contention around the deadline.
Last season, Pavano won 17 games and completed seven games.
Getting Felix Hernandez might be little more than a dream for the Red Sox—but what a dream it is.
Last year's AL Cy Young winner might seem like he's been around forever, but he's still just 25. He led the league in ERA and IP last season, and seems poised for one of the all-time great pitching careers.
The Mariners recently re-signed their ace, but if Hernandez gets sick of Seattle, prepare for another patented Sox-Yanks bidding war.
The Red Sox have less of a need for hitters, but with an aging Marco Scutaro and injury-plagued Jed Lowrie sticking at shortstop this season, the versatility of Michael Young could be useful.
He is a DH in Texas right now after he has switched between 2B, 3B and SS throughout his career. Although the Red Sox are pretty set at all three positions, his versatility, leadership and power hitting could prove useful.
Young is on the block. If no other teams bite and one of the Red Sox infielders gets hurt between now and the deadline, expect the Sox to at least look into what it would take to acquire the six-time All Star.
The Red Sox still will likely be more in the market for pitchers than anything else come the deadline. Gavin Floyd has been consistently good, but rarely great for the White Sox in recent years.
His Sox could change color in July if the Chicago finds itself out of the wild card chase.
Theo Epstein and Terry Francona have been trying to get Jarrod Saltalamacchia for many seasons. Now that they have their catcher, they'll have to see if he can play at the level of the rest of the Red Sox.
Saltalamacchia is not a bad player, but on this Red Sox team he is one of the weak links.
Ryan Doumit is one of the better hitting catchers in the MLB and has a more proven track record than Saltalamacchia. Should the Red Sox catcher's falter before the All Star break, expect Doumit to be given a long, hard look.
The Sox have a history of trading with the Pirates whether it be Jason Bay or Adam LaRoche.
The Arizona Diamondbacks don't figure to be contenders this season. Closers on teams that don't get many wins are often traded, and J.J. Putz finds himself as a closer on a non contender, also known as trade bait.
Although the Red Sox solidified their bullpen this offseason, adding Dan Wheeler and Bobby Jenks to a mix including relief aces Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard, a playoff team can never have too many arms.
One injury is all it takes to throw a bullpen into flux, and should the Sox struggle in late innings, expect to see them make a run at Putz.
On the 2011 Red Sox, it is hard to find positions of need. Besides pitching, the shortstop tandem of Marco Scutaro and Jed Lowrie appears to be the biggest weakness the Sox have.
What does a juggernaut with hole do? Find a big-name player to fill it. Enter Jose Reyes.
If the Red Sox added Reyes to a lineup already including Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury, they might be one of the fastest teams in MLB history.
Reyes' contract is expiring at the end of the season and if the Mets fall out of the race, they will be looking to deal their star shortstop. The Red Sox will be listening.
The San Diego Padres are rebuilding. After losing one of the best pitchers in the game (Jake Peavy) and one of the best hitters (Adrian Gonzalez) in consecutive years, the Padres are left with few trading chips.
Closer Heath Bell is one of them. Every bullpen is baseball needs as many reliable arms as possible. Even with Boston's offseason moves, the Sox are no different.
Taking one of baseball's best closers and moving him into a seventh or eighth inning role is often risky, but Bell was a successful middle reliever, setting up for Trevor Hoffman, before he became a closer.
Carlos Zambrano has had an unusual, up-and-down roller coaster ride of a career. Between anger issues, dominant seasons and days when he couldn't hit the backside of a barn, he is one of the more unusual pitchers in the MLB.
As feelings cool between Zambrano and the Cubs, he will likely be finding a new home by July. Don't count Boston out.
Zambrano could pitch out of the bullpen or start for the Red Sox and actually pitched very well down the stretch last season. If he begins this season strong, expect Zambrano to land on an American League team, regardless of whether the Cubs are in contention.