Boston Red Sox: 5 Players on the Trade Market Who Could Help
The Boston Red Sox appear to be setting a consistent course now. Last month the team played both some spectacularly terrible baseball as well as some spectacularly great baseball.
While the Red Sox are looking more settled in and comfortable as contenders, the suspected leaks in the ship have indeed sprung, and water is pouring in left and right. Mid-season trades would help plug things up and shore up the supposed juggernaut.
These are five realistic trade targets that could help address Boston's needs for this season while not compromising the overall course for the future.
1. Matt Capps
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Pretty much anyone else more reliable than Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler would be a boon to the Red Sox. The team could try addressing their bullpen woes internally through the promotion of guys pitching well at Triple-A Pawtucket. This may not be enough though, and that's where a guy like Matt Capps comes in.
If Joe Nathan is able to reestablish himself as the Twins' closer, Minnesota could entertain offers for Capps. While Capps has pitched well as a closer over his career, he's never established himself as a prime bullpen option for a contending team.
He's arguably on the verge of such status, and thus a high-profile setup role in Boston may be just the ticket for him. It could be a great marriage for both the player and the club.
2. Heath Bell
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An even more attractive bullpen option for Boston is the Padres' Heath Bell. San Diego is clearly in rebuilding mode right now, as evidenced this winter with the Adrian Gonzalez trade. The Padres would get some serious return on Bell, who is regarded as one of the best in the game at the present.
Bell will make $7.5 million this season, which is the final year of his current contract. Bell's impending free agency makes it all the more likely that he will leave San Diego before the end of the season.
Padres' GM Jed Hoyer previously worked in the Red Sox front office, so he still knows their minor league organization very well. The Red Sox would be a likely suitor for Bell's talents and they are also an excellent candidate for the Padres to trade with.
3. Jose Reyes
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Jed Lowrie tore it up in April. Marco Scutaro, who was not particularly struggling, has been relegated to a bench role due to Lowrie's insanely hot bat.
So Boston's shortstop situation is all set for 2011, right? Maybe. Back in March I explored the potential of the Red Sox making a run at Jose Reyes, coming to the conclusion that a particular set of conditions would all have to transpire for both parties for such a deal to occur.
Scutaro's diminished role (coupled with Lowrie's expanded role) presents such an opening. Boston is presumably shopping Scutaro, who amounts to an overqualified utility infielder. Moving Scutaro for some spare parts -- or maybe even some more bullpen help -- would open the door for a spot for Reyes in Boston.
4. Ryan Doumit
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You can bet the Boston Red Sox are wishing they had pushed harder for Russell Martin last winter. The former Dodgers' backstop is now tearing it up for the Bronx Bombers. Meanwhile the tandem of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek are both on the wrong side of the Mendoza Line.
If things do not improve, someone like Pittburgh's Ryan Doumit becomes quite the attractive trade option for Boston. Doumit is not a star yet he is a much surer thing than Salty at this juncture. The addition of Doumit (or any third catcher) would likely lead to the dismissal of Salty--in some form or another.
Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and Pirates GM Neal Huntington have done deals before, and Epstein may really push Huntington on Doumit come July, or even June.
5. Chris Iannetta
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Another catching trade prospect for the Red Sox is the Rockies' Chris Iannetta. Iannetta's name was frequently linked, along with Saltalamacchia's, to the Red Sox last summer.
Acquiring Iannetta would amount to Boston GM Theo Epstein trying his luck at the same game that he's betting on with Salty. Iannetta turned 28 last month, but has only once played in more than 100 games in a Major League season. He's an athletic guy who has struggled to catch on and assert himself in the big leagues.
It would seem more prudent for Boston to go after someone like Ryan Doumit, however, if push comes to shove. Taking a flyer on Iannetta would certainly come on the cheap, which is the main benefit of this option.