Even at the beginning of September there is always time to discuss potential trade options for the offseason.
The Boston Red Sox are currently battling the New York Yankees for control over the AL East. While the division is not yet settled we can take a look ahead at potential moves for the Red Sox this winter.
Being the big-market team they are, you can always count on the Red Sox being active in the offseason. The demand for success from a market like Boston will always push the front office into looking for the next big move to put them over the top.
Here are 10 names that you shouldn't be shocked to see the Red Sox pursuing this winter.
Even with Josh Beckett and Jon Lester at the top of the rotation, the Red Sox will most likely be looking to build up the back end of their rotation this winter.
Carmona is an attainable piece from the Indians and with the Red Sox already showing interest, I imagine that they will inquire about him this winter.
Don't be shocked to see Carmona in Boston to start next year.
Wandy Rodriguez was another name that the Red Sox inquired about around the trade deadline before they picked up Bedard.
With the Astros trading Hunter Pence, it is clear that they are moving into full rebuild mode. Like Carmona, I wouldn't be shocked to see the Red Sox in the hunt for any quality arms this Winter.
The Red Sox improved their offense considerably by adding Adrian Gonzalez to their lineup last offseason. Carl Crawford was supposed to be a significant addition as well, but he has yet to live up to his contract.
Even with Josh Reddick's performance in right field this year, the Red Sox may not be convinced that he is the answer for the long term.
Carlos Lee is the last proven bat in an Astros line up that is going to continue to get broken up as they begin to rebuild.
The Red Sox may look to add another elite bat to their lineup and shore up their outfield for the foreseeable future.
Logan Morrison is a promising young outfielder for the Florida Marlins.
He also is one of the MLB's most popular Tweeters. Morrison has no issues telling others, including teammate Hanley Ramirez, what he thinks about their performance.
The Marlins sent Morrison down for a brief stint this season, but it is clear that he is the piece to move if the conflict between he and Hanley cannot be resolved.
Morrison would be a young and long-term solution to the Red Sox right field situation. If he officially lands on the market this winter expect the Red Sox to be in pursuit.
This is another potential right field solution for the Boston Red Sox.
Ethier is heading into the final year of his contract. With the Dodgers financial troubles as well as the expected change in ownership, they may be looking to start rebuilding the team.
Ethier has also shown an understanding that he may not finish his career with the Dodgers.
The Dodgers should be able to bring in a solid package of prospects in return for him. The Red Sox, like with Lee and Morrison, could be adding an outfielder for the near future by acquiring Ethier.
Even if the price is high, it is clear that the Red Sox are willing to spend if they feel the value is there.
Jonathan Papelbon appears to have gone back to his old form in his contract year.
It is still up in the air whether the Red Sox will pay to bring Papelbon back. With Heath Bell potentially on the market, and considering the Red Sox good relations with the Padres, I wouldn't be shocked to see a deal in the making.
Bell is a proven commodity at closer and could give the Red Sox another year to groom Daniel Bard as the closer of the future.
Bell would need to accept arbitration from the Padres, but if he does, it is likely that he could be traded. Assuming that Papelbon's price is too high, the Red Sox could turn to San Diego to make another deal.
While this one is more of a long-shot, there is still a serious chance the Reds will look to move Volquez this offseason.
He has shown inconsistency in the majors, but was still able to put up fantastic numbers when sent down this year. The Reds are stocked with young pitching so he is easily expendable.
If Volquez can get the mental aspect of his game to work with his natural talent then he has the chance to be a great pitcher in this league. While his value is still relatively low, there is a chance a team like the Red Sox could be a buyer.
He is more of a project, but could be a big payout for a team that is willing to take a shot.
The Red Sox biggest need heading in to the offseason will be to add those back end of the rotation starters.
Joe Blanton fits that role perfectly. He is a fairly reliable pitcher that has experience pitching in the American League.
He currently has no place on the Phillies rotation with rookie Vance Worley filling the fifth spot.
Blanton's salary is still a large chunk that the Phillies would love to move out—especially with no need for him in the rotation or the bullpen.
He would be a great, cheap buy for Boston to solidify the end of the rotation.
Upton is another long shot for the Red Sox here.
He was being shopped around at the trade deadline, and this was mostly due to the expected arrival of rookie Desmond Jennings to the Rays outfield.
Now that Jennings has been called up, and has proven he is a future stud, it makes Upton much more expendable.
The Red Sox already have a very fast and versatile outfield. Adding B.J. Upton would only improve that.
Again, it is unlikely that Tampa Bay will send Upton to their division rival even if the trade offer from Boston is a big one.
It is likely the price will just be too high, but that won't stop them from asking.
With the unpredictability of major league bullpens, the Red Sox will always be looking to strengthen theirs.
Whether Papelbon departs Boston or not, I imagine they will be looking for arms to add. The Royals will likely be more open to trading closer Joakim Soria this offseason.
Soria, who has been very reliable for the Royals, lost his job for a brief stint earlier this year. The Royals will have a slew of young prospects coming through the system that they will want to transition into their big league club. This may be the perfect time to capitalize on Soria's value.
The Royals have had a large asking price for Soria in the past, but if they happen to lower this price, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Red Sox inquiring about the talented right-hander.