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The Red Sox close out their three-game set with the Rangers in Texas Wednesday night with a chance to win the series.
Josh Beckett, who many fans would like to see sent out of town at the trade deadline, toes the rubber for the Sox tonight. With Texas in need of some pitching, could this be a “showcase start” for the Red Sox?
MLB.com’s Peter Gammons joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz on Wednesday, and threw some water on those flames.
“No; they’re looking for hard throwers,” Gammons said of Texas. “I’m not being funny either, (Beckett) is not a front line guy. He’s pitched well at times. I give him credit for trying to transition into a very different pitcher… but at $14 million, no one is going to give you anything.”
“He’s not as bad as people have made him out to be,” Gammons said of the 5-8 Beckett. “10 of 16 quality starts, I think he battles. But the question is how good his stuff is at this point? I don’t see any way they can move him.”
“It still comes down to this; it doesn’t matter if they get (Chicago’s Matt) Garza or (Miami’s Josh) Johnson; if Lester doesn’t become a 3-ERA guy they’re not going to contend for the wild card,” said Gammons. “I’m not putting it all on Lester either. I feel sorry for him.”
The Red Sox are in need of a shake up, but Gammons says they don’t have the cards to pull it off.
“I think they would like to, but I think it’s very difficult to do so because of the contracts,” said Gammons. “Next year they’ll have $30 million invested in Lackey and Beckett.”
“It’s very hard to just say get rid of these guys and bring in a guy throwing 87-MPH; it just isn’t going to work,” Gammons said, noting the Red Sox’ lack of good arms in the farm system. “They’re in a bind. They’ve gotten themselves into some contracts that they can look back and say ‘wow, we’re really locked in.’ And that jail is not conducive to creativity.”
So what will Ben Cherington do at next week’s trade deadline?
“I think he’ll move a couple of vets — a Shoppach or a Sweeney, but that’s not about to bring a Steven Strasburg in the door. He’ll keep trying to get a pitcher… but he’s not going to do a rental where they get a guy for two months and give up two prospects.”