Boston Red Sox: 10 Relievers They Should Target
The offseason is ticking along and the Red Sox have yet to make any major moves towards shoring up their depleted bullpen. The closer's role, in particular, needs to be addressed. Meanwhile, Daniel Bard sits in limbo. That said, Boston's needs go beyond finding a closer.
Right or wrong, GM Ben Cherington appears content to be a late player on the relief front this winter. The Red Sox have their options, both on the free-agent market as well as via trades.
Here are 10 relievers the Sox could make runs at this offseason.
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Ryan Madson is obviously one of Boston's chief targets—he's the top remaining closer on the free-agent market.
That said, the Red Sox may feel like they'd be better off to keep their wallets closed on a big-name like Madson and, instead, examine their trade options, as suggested on ESPN.com.
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Oakland is shopping Andrew Bailey and the Red Sox may have exactly what Billy Beane wants. The A's reportedly desire a young outfielder in exchange for Bailey—Josh Reddick would appear to fit the bill here.
The 2009 Rookie of the Year would be a huge addition to a relatively depleted Boston bullpen.
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Bobby Valentine is known for having an eye toward bullpen strategy, so it would not be surprising to see the Sox add a lefty specialist to their relief arsenal.
Mike Gonzalez might be the best lefty available, however he might be more expensive than Boston cares for, as he's just coming off of a two-year, $12 million deal.
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After Ryan Madson, Francisco Cordero is arguably the top remaining closer on the free-agent market.
The Red Sox should do their homework on Cordero, who'll turn 37 next May. That said, the price on Cordero is probably a little high in light of the deal that Jonathan Papelbon and Heath Bell have commanded this winter. Unless the price is right, Boston would be wise to stay away away from Cordero, as durable as he's been.
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The Brewers are in a bit of a bind after Francisco Rodriguez called their bluff and accepted arbitration earlier this month. K-Rod made $12 million in 2011, so he figures to get a handsome reward in arbitration.
Milwaukee's loss could be Boston's gain. Rather than get stuck paying more than they want to K-Rod, the Brewers might elect to shop him. Don't bet on it, though.
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Chicago is in full sell mode, and lefty Matt Thornton is one of many White Sox on the block.
Thornton has made at least 60 appearances in every one of his six seasons on the South Side, however he comes with a big price tag, with two years of $5.5 million a season remaining on his contract.
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Indians' closer Chris Perez has not been linked to any trade rumors so far, but that may very well change as the winter progresses.
The 26-year-old Perez has been dynamite since being traded to Cleveland in 2009 and is arguably the best realistic trade option for the Red Sox after the A's' Andrew Bailey.
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Could the Nationals trade Dew Storen?
Storen, 24, would definitely draw interest from the Red Sox. As the closer's version of musical chairs continues among baseball's contenders, the Nats might see a opportunity to cash in on their young closer while his value is still very high.
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According to Joel Zumaya, the Red Sox are interested in Joel Zumaya. Zumaya hasn't pitched since injuring his elbow June 2010. He's set to audition for any interested parties in Houston later this month. He's struggled with injuries throughout his career.
The obvious question is how much zip he can still muster up on his historically fast heater. If Zumaya shows he can still bring it, he's a classic low-risk, high-reward free-agent signing.