As Red Sox Nation sighs in relief to see Cliff Lee bypass New York for the Lone Star State, WEEI's Rob Bradford reports that Theo Epstein and the Boston front office have started showing some interest in acquiring Philadelphia OF Jayson Werth.
While "no deal is imminent," trading for the soon-to-be type-A free agent Werth could go a long way toward shoring up a Red Sox lineup crippled by injury.
During the past few months, the Red Sox' lineup has hemmoraged players, particularly outfielders.
Currently the Sox are without All-Star 2B Dustin Pedroia, All-Star C Victor Martinez, veteran backstop Jason Varitek, speedy OF Jacoby Ellsbury, reserve OF Jeremy Hermida, 3B Mike Lowell, and reserve infielder Jed Lowrie.
OF Mike Cameron is playing through serious abdominal pain, and All-Star 1B Kevin Youkilis is nursing a troubled ankle.
Although the Phillies haven't even officially put Werth on the block, they've been rumored to test the waters regarding the potential trade value of their entire All-Star outfield.
According to the New York Post's George A. King III—whose ironic name seems almost laughably so—the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays have also conveyed their interest in Werth to the Philadelphia front office.
The tough stumbling block for the Sox seems to be that the Phillies are seeking a "proven starter." The only starter the Sox might be willing to move would probably be the rather inconsistent and succinctly unproven Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Purely speculating, Matsuzaka might actually do quite well in a short-term shift to the National League and Citizen's Bank Park, but then again, why on earth would the Phillies want him when New York's Javier Vazquez or Tampa Bay's James Shields might be made available?
The 31-year-old Werth is experiencing another excellent season. Batting .278/.514/.365 with 13 homers and fielding well above average according to UZR/150.
Werth could demand top dollar as a free agent this winter, so whoever trades for him might have to settle for a rental and compensation picks.