With the MLB trade deadline hours away, teams are scrambling to get deals made, the Red Sox being no exception. Despite leading the American League East for the majority of the season, Boston still has holes they would like to fill.
Though the Sox already traded for left-handed reliever Matt Thornton, the team still would ideally acquire another arm for the bullpen. Another need is at starting pitcher with the uncertainty of Clay Buchholz's return to dominance going forward. Finally, the third base position could use an upgrade as currently the position is hitting a combined .239 this season, the worst of any position on the team.
The Red Sox farm system is stacked with prospects other teams desire, but what the organization is weighing is, is it worth dealing away some of their top prospects for a player who may only be around for two months? It would seem the club does not want to part ways with any of their future stars, but as is the case at this time of the year, things can change in a flash.
If the Red Sox do, in fact, trade for a player that fits their needs, here is a look at the most likely candidates for each position:
Starting Pitcher: Jake Peavy, White Sox
As of late Tuesday afternoon, the asking price on Peavy was extremely high, which is the primary reason why he has not yet been dealt. The right-hander is 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA this season and is signed through the end of next season. If the price comes down, which it should, the Sox could be a potential suitor.
Relief Pitcher: Kevin Gregg, Cubs
With top available relievers already coming off the market, in Francisco Rodriguez (Orioles) and Jesse Crain (Rays), Gregg may be the next best pitcher available. Although he is a closer with the Cubs (22 saves), he would likely be a set-up man in Boston. Even if the Sox don’t land Gregg, expect them to acquire a reliever in some capacity.
Third base: Michael Young, Phillies
This is the most unlikely player to be dealt to Boston as it was reported Tuesday that Young would only accept a trade to Texas because of his full no-trade clause. To address the need at third, the Sox could turn to internal candidates in Will Middlebrooks and 20-year-old Xander Bogaerts, both currently in Pawtucket.
Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84