MLB Trade Rumors: Boston Red Sox on the Prowl for Position Players
As is usually the case, the Boston Red Sox are approaching Major League Baseball's July 31 trade deadline in pretty good shape. In order to make things a little more perfect, however, they're probably going to have to make a deal.
Right now, there isn't an abundance of rumors about specific players they might be going after, but Red Sox GM Theo Epstein did provide a useful outline for the team's plans during a NESN video chat with Peter Gammons.
"I don't see a ton of pitching help out there unless it's the few guys who can really make an impact, who will take your farm system to get," he said. "I think we could benefit from a complementary position player in the right spot."
That Epstein is not thrilled with the idea of going out and looking for pitching might rub some fans the wrong way given how badly the Sox's starting staff has been bitten by the injury bug, not to mention the struggles of John Lackey. However, the Sox will be fine as long as Clay Buchholz and now Jon Lester can get healthy and stay healthy, so they can afford to wait.
As far as position players go, the two biggest areas of concern are shortstop and a fourth outfielder. The hope at short is that Jed Lowrie will continue hitting again once he returns, so make a trade there is not exactly vital.
The outfield, on the other hand, is a pretty major concern. Especially when it comes to right field. J.D. Drew has been a virtual non-factor in what is the final year of his contract with the Red Sox, and the team has already parted ways with Mike Cameron. Darnell McDonald has stated his case in the last couple days with a home run and game-ending outfield assist (albeit from left field), but his .125 batting average doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
Basically, what the Sox really need is a right-handed, versatile outfielder. Easier said than done.
One name that has been mentioned in conjunction with the Red Sox in the past is Carlos Beltran, but that is the longest of longshots right now. The Sox are in the market for depth, not a starter, and Beltran's $19 million-plus salary pretty much puts him out of the question. Same goes from Jeff Francoeur.
In other words, don't expect Epstein to make a big splash. The Red Sox have cooled off in recent weeks, but there's no reason for them to push the panic button.
Not yet anyway.
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