The latest rumors mentioned in connection to the Boston Red Sox trade targets are somewhat encouraging. But as nice as it would be to add a big name like Ubaldo Jimenez or Hiroki Kuroda, the club is strong enough that it doesn't need to dip too deeply into its prospect pool.
Sure, making a major upgrade would be great, and it's entirely possible that the Red Sox will still go that route. But a better choice might be to make a couple of lesser moves that will keep the farm system more intact.
I recently posted a list of players that the Sox should avoid, but evidently that didn't attract Theo Epstein's attention. The latest and greatest whispers—like this Jon Heyman tweet—suggest that the Red Sox are still in talks with the Mariners about Erik Bedard.
Bedard is not a good idea.
The guy can pitch well when things are going right, but he lacks durability. After last season's myriad injuries and this year pitching woes, do the Red Sox really want to mess with another risky player?
Doesn't make much sense.
If Epstein wants to make a deal with the Mariners, he'd be better off grabbing Doug Fister or Jason Vargas for the back end of the rotation. Seems like either could be had fairly cheaply.
On to the outfield Boston is pursuing at least one reasonable course of action.
According to another recent Heyman tweet, the Sox are "strongly considering" Ryan Spilborghs as a fourth outfielder. Currently playing as a reserve with the Colorado Rockies, Spilborghs has a rather ugly slash line of .219/ .298/ .317. But for his career, he's posted a solid enough .273/ .347/ .426. The latter probably being more indicative of his true skills.
Inconsistent playing time kills hitting. On the one hand, that serves as an explanation for his poor performance in 2011. On the other, it doesn't exactly inspire much confidence for the rest of the year, as he'd be a fourth outfielder in Boston at best.
Still, moving into the Red Sox lineup could only have a positive effect and Spilborghs is a good defender. He should be relatively cheap—maybe a mid or low-level prospect or two—and he would provide some bench depth.
Spilborghs poses no threat to Josh Reddick's playing time, but with J.D. Drew on the DL due to a shoulder issue it might be smart to beef up the bench. Maybe Drew will do everyone a favor and heal slowly.
The team could do worse than Spilborghs. This might not be the blockbuster move that some fans are hoping for, but it would demonstrate the team's commitment to both a successful present and future.