What Will The Red Sox Do Before the July 31 Trade Deadline?
(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)Red Sox GM Theo Epstein has some decisions to make as the trade deadline approaches. The Red Sox are one of the best teams in baseball, but still have some concerns. Boston will likely look to add some starting pitching depth, relief pitching and a right-handed bat off the bench, but will not break the bank, or farm system, to improve an already strong team.
RF Hunter Pence
(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)Pence is the right-handed bat the Red Sox are looking for, and would become an instand fan-favorite in Boston. He plays very good defense, and has 25-homers in the each of the last three seasons. The Astros are the worst team in baseball and will likely be looking to unload a few players to build for the future.
SP Ubaldo Jimenez
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)Although the 27-year-old right handed starter will likely stay in Colorado, both the Red Sox and Yankees have inquired about Ubaldo Jimenez. The 19-game winner in 2010 would be a great addition to either rotation, but the Rockies asking price could be a little too much for the Red Sox.
OF Carlos Beltran
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)Beltran is in the last year of his 7-year, $119 million deal with the Mets and they would love to shed payroll. The 34-year-old switch-hitting Beltran could take over in right field but would be costly, either in dollars the Red Sox need to take on or prospects they would have to surrender. Beltran cannot be offered abritration so the Red Sox would receive no draft compensation if he leaves after the season.
SS Jose Reyes
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)It is unlikely the Red Sox would pull off a blockbuster and land Reyes, and the Mets have said they doubt they'll deal him, but it would give Boston one of the top shortstops in the game and some pop at a position that has not produced the last five years. The Red Sox would have to give up a lot to get the 3-time All-Star from the Mets, and he could leave after this season as a free agent.
OF Michael Cuddyer
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)The life-long Twin is in a contract year, and could be too much for Minnesota when he hits free agency. If the Twins want to get something in return, the Red Sox could be a team that goes knocking for his right-handed bat. Cuddyer can play the outfield as well as first and third base.
SP Hiroki Kuroda
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)There have been rumors the Red Sox are interested in the Los Angeles pitcher. In 19 starts in 2011, Kuroda is just 6-11 but has an ERA of 3.13. He could provide some depth in the pitching staff as a #5 starter.
SP Derek Lowe
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)It's hard to imagine anything but a warm reception if the 2004 playoff hero were to return to Boston. At 38, Lowe has one more year left on his contract with the Braves. He has won 15+ games the last two seasons in Atlanta and would give Boston some insurance (and Playoff experience) at the back of the rotation.
SP Carlos Zambrano
(Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)The Matt Garza rumors proved false, but Carlos Zambrano to the Red Sox could make sense. The 30-year-old starter could use a change of scenery and be a solid addition to Boston's rotation. The hot-headed righty has struggled this season, but if motivated could return to form.
OF Ryan Ludwick
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)The right-handed bat would be an easy player to get, with Epstein's old friend Jed Hoyer calling the shots in San Diego. Ludwick has not produced all that much since his 37-homer 2008 season for the Cardinals, but would be a cheap option for an extra bat in the outfield for Boston.
IF Jeff Baker
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)Baker is quietly putting together a decent season for the Chicago Cubs. He does not jump off the stat sheets, but the infielder could give the Red Sox the right handed bat off the bench they've been looking for. He would come much cheaper than most other options on the trade market.