With every passing day, more trade rumors and gossip and potential deadline deals are splattered across the Internet, and the Boston Red Sox are at the heart of much of the conversation.
Likely buyers, the Sox could certainly benefit from good decisions at the trade deadline. Despite having baseball's best offense, the club could stand to see some improvements in both the bullpen and rotation, and bench depth is a potential sore spot as well.
There have been plenty of trade rumors that Boston would be better off ignoring.
Chicago Cubs relieve Kerry Wood has been mentioned as a possible trade option, but the Red Sox should steer clear of the 34-year-old. Wood isn't enjoying a particularly strong season, yet his name carries enough weight that Chicago will probably get a good return if it elects to move him.
Boston can do better.
While he's always had upside, it hardly makes sense for the Red Sox to chase a guy so familiar with the DL. Injuries are what has the club needing arms in the first place.
Other more reliable players like Baltimore's star reliever Koji Uehara and Tampa's centerfielder B.J Upton would be solid options, but their respective teams are unlikely to deal them within the AL East.
The Sox could use Uehara (what teams couldn't?), but it's hard to imagine the Orioles being willing to go that route unless the offer was too big to refuse.
The Sox don't need to do anything desperate.
They also don't need to break the bank for a two-month rental of Carlos Beltran, and there's little reason to even discuss Jose Reyes trades anymore. Whispers about bringing Hanley Ramirez back to the organization seem to be little more than wishful thinking.
Nevertheless, there are deals to be made that could help this team solidify its playoff credentials. Making the postseason in baseball's toughest division is never easy. What moves could Boston make to maximize its chances?
Before taking a look at seven possibilities, it's helpful to get familiar with the team's stable of quality prospects and with a few current Red Sox who might be on the block if the right trade comes along.