MLB Trade Rumors: Hunter Pence and 4 Players Who Could Help the Boston Red Sox
Though the Boston Red Sox finished the first half atop the American League East, one could argue that the team should be better. Nevermind that the Sox started slow, losing what felt like 30 games straight to start the season. What I'm saying is that the Red Sox should be getting more production out of a typically strong offensive position: right field.
Which brings us to J.D. Drew.
Forgive me if I sound like a broken record, but my displeasure with the $14 million man has reached an all-time high. I need Drew out of the lineup. I need it now.
As such, this article will focus on ways the Red Sox can bolster their production in right field. Of course, they could just slide Josh Reddick (whose batting average is hovering around .400) into right field when Carl Crawford returns. But that would be too easy.
Houston Astros OF Hunter Pence
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The Boston Herald says that a move for Hunter Pence would require a "blockbuster-type transaction." Translation: it would take more than J.D. Drew's dead weight and $14 million contract to persuade the Houston Astros to part ways with their All Star.
But Pence is just the type of player the Boston Red Sox should play in right field. Josh Reddick has seemingly gotten by on pure energy in his stint in the major leagues, and that's what Pence brings to a team.
The Red Sox brass would never make such a deal, and that's fine. It doesn't make sense to make any major roster moves even to acquire an All Star (try telling that to Danny Ainge, though). But this Red Sox team is built like a dynasty, with only a few "old" players left on the squad. The only two positions one can argue are missing are catcher and a third outfielder (Marco Scutaro will do just fine for now, thank you). A Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek platoon will do for now because of a league-wide hole at the catcher position. However, a right fielder hitting .229 with four home runs won't cut it in a league full of capable outfielders.
Pence, at 28 and in the prime of his career, is a long-term investment--one that may be worth Drew, Reddick and another prospect. I'm all for spending money that's not mine (just not on J.D. Drew).
New York Mets OF Carlos Beltran
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He's right, who wouldn't want to play for the most stacked team in the league in the best ballpark in the league?
Beltran, at 34, is a less intriguing but more likely (though still unlikely) option than Hunter Pence. Beltran, who's hitting .285 (right on par with his career average), could be energized by a move to Boston. He's been the source to which the Mets organization has vented it's anger, and the team should try to move him by the deadline.
Minnesota Twins OF Michael Cuddyer
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Good players go to Minnesota's bad teams to hone their skills and, when they're ready, come to Boston when it's time to win.
David Ortiz. Kevin Garnett. Randy Moss (okay, not Randy Moss).
ESPN reports that the Sox could be interested in Cuddyer, along with the rest of the Minnesota outfield.
Cuddyer and his 13 home runs would add some pop to a Red Sox outfield that is mostly speed. The Red Sox get most of their home runs from the corner infielders and Ortiz, but one more double-digit threat would be greatly appreciated.
To anyone who cites defensive metrics as a reason to keep J.D. Drew over Cuddyer, just stop and watch J.D. Drew try to hit a lefty.
Chicago Cubs P Matt Garza
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During his time with the Tampa Bay Rays, Matt Garza gave the Boston Red Sox trouble. The Red Sox went out and got Carl Crawford, who absolutely killed the Sox, so it's no surprise that Garza is on the Sox watch list.
With Daisuke Matsuzaka (out for the season), Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz all injured at the moment, the Sox need stock up on starting pitching. The Cubs, who will not make the playoffs, will probably be reluctant to deal Garza, who is signed through 2013. But the Red Sox, who are rich, could make a deal to sweet to pass up. So goes the old saying: If you can't beat him, throw million dollar bills at the people who own him until they give him to you.
Chicago White Sox P John Danks
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Chicago White Sox pitcher and perennial mid-draft fantasy baseball selection John Danks is currently rehabbing in Triple-A.
ESPN cites the Boston Red Sox as a potential suitor, especially if Danks can start a few games before the trade deadline.
Ideally, the Boston Red Sox will settle on three right-handers and two lefties for the starting rotation: Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Danks and John Lackey. Danks adds not only versatility to rotation, but also a "clutch" label earned with his eight-inning, two-hit performance in a one-game playoff for the American League Central Division title in 2008.
At this point, I'd take the relatively unproven Danks in a playoff rotation over supposed "big-game pitcher" John Lackey.