Despite the Red Sox' best efforts this weekend to convince management to sell, it appears Ben Cherington is going harder after improving the 2012 club.
Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston reports that the Sox have "expressed interest" in Marlins' starters Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez.
The Marlins are obvious targets for a possible fire sale. They don't appear to be serious contenders this year, even after spending all that money in the offseason, and have a history of making major trades (including, obviously, with the Sox). Johnson is 5-7 with a 4.35 ERA; Sanchez 5-7 with a 3.94 ERA this year.
Meanwhile, Johnson is only signed through next year (at $13.75 million) and Sanchez is a free agent after this year. It doesn't take a genius to assume that if the Marlins decide to trade one or the other, it'll be Sanchez, as Johnson has a higher ceiling and is already signed for 2013.
McDonald doesn't mention what prospects would be involved, though I'd have to assume the Marlins will set their sights high. I'm cool with any of the redundant players Brian MacPherson mentioned in his trade deadline primer, but obviously the ones he labels untouchable are just that if we're talking about Sanchez. Were I Cherington and Josh Johnson were on the table, I'd have a harder time saying no to a higher-end talent; Johnson is a legit no. 1 who just hasn't been as dominant this year.