Links 7-22-2010: Trade outlook, getting healthy is painful

There is about a week and a half left before this year’s non-waiver trade deadline, and it appears that the Sox are trying to upgrade their bullpen, outfield and catcher. To me, this year has been all about health, and it may not make sense to pull the trigger on a big trade at this point; Sox Therapy agrees.

According to various reports, the Sox have shown interest in the following players:

Relievers: Scott Downs (TOR), Leo Nunez (FLA)
Outfielders: David DeJesus (KC) , Cody Ross (FLA), Corey Hart (MIL)
Catchers: Chris Iannetta (COL), Chris Snyder (ARI)

That doesn’t mean much in July, however. Everyone’s calling around about options, but that doesn’t mean something’s necessarily going to happen. The market for relievers is notably bad this year – Blue Jays initially asked for Jose Iglesias in exchange for Downs. That shows you how tough it is to actually get a deal done as a buyer. I’m on board with the names on this list, but not so big on spending a lot to get Ross or Hart, not when we already have Jeremy Hermida, Darnell McDonald and Daniel Nava. With Jacoby Ellsbury out until God knows when and Mike Cameron being slow to heal, I’m convinced we need someone who can play a passable center field, and DeJesus fits that the best.

Jed Lowrie has looked good at Pawtucket, and he got a surprise start yesterday, making me think that the Sox may be showcasing him for a trade (supposedly he was offered to the Rockies already). And then there’s Mike Lowell, who continues to be in limbo, but he’ll be finishing his four-game rehab soon. Not much interest in him, and if he can’t be moved, it makes sense to deal Lowrie. I could see Felix Doubront being moved as well, as he showed some maturity in his spot starts for Boston this year.

Yet another reason you probably won’t see a big trade: the Red Sox have officially crossed the luxury tax threshold. That doesn’t mean they won’t spend more, but it certainly doesn’t encourage them to.

The pain of getting healthy

Apart from one salvaged game against Cliff Lee and the Rangers, that last week was not a memorable one. The offense fizzled, and we just didn’t get enough from the bullpen.

As guys finish their rehab assignments and rejoin the team in varying states of readiness, there’s going to be some roster juggling and bad baseball as players get up to speed again. Even though he earned a spot, Nava was sent down due to his minor league options (McDonald doesn’t have any left). Gustavo Molina, Dustin Richardson and Ryan Shealy were also demoted to make room. Michael Bowden is incorporating a new slider and going to have to learn relieving on the fly as we wait for a move to be made.

More links

Daisuke Matsuzaka credits a new pre-game routine with his fast start in his last game. Hope it keeps working.

I love what Adrian Beltre has brought to this club at third base this year, but he is going to free agency. I might almost suggest bringing him back, except that his issues extend beyond injuring fellow teammates (unintenionally, of course). He’s gotten mad at teammates who dared to touch his head, and he’s still mad about the All-Star roster mix-up. Seems like he’s one of those volatile clubhouse guys, with some potential to explode. Anger management, anyone?

Here’s a must-read article on how the Red Sox over-slot draft strategy is paying off in recent years. Some of our top prospects were taken in the 5th and 6th rounds due to money and signability concerns. Nice to see that the farm system is being restocked after the recent graduation of a gaggle of homegrown talent, including Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Ellsbury, Daniel Bard and Lowrie.

For those who were concerned about Casey Kelly’s struggles at Double-A Portland, it looks like things are turning around for him. That’s a relief.

Anthony Ranaudo concluded his summer stint in the Cape Cod league, pitching 29 2/3 innings for Brewster and giving up zero runs. The big pitcher was very impressive, and he’s convinced me that we should pay him what he wants. It’s hard to pass up that kind of player.

Yet another name has popped up to join the catcher-of-the-future hopefuls. Dan Butler has been smoking the ball at Single-A Greenville, and handled himself admirably filling in at Triple-A Pawtucket for a few games. Take note.

Jerry Remy got a well-deserved contract extension with NESN. Here’s to good health and a lot more games with you, Rem-Dawg.


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