As the Red Sox take the field on Friday at Yankee Stadium, they’ll be one game under .500. They need to go 41-22 — a .650 clip — the rest of the way just to win 90 games.
If the Red Sox lose two out of three at Yankee Stadium — or, worse, endure a sweep — they’ll be under .500 and at least five games behind the wildcard leaders on July 30. General manager Ben Cherington would be committing executive malpractice if he did anything but sell off pieces and look ahead to 2013.
Mike Aviles could be traded. Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney could be traded. Kelly Shoppach could be traded. Aaron Cook could be traded. Matt Albers, Andrew Miller and Vicente Padilla could be traded, too. If Cherington finds a taker and John Henry is willing to eat some money, there’s an outside chance Josh Beckett could go, too.
And while his injuries complicate things, the real blockbuster would be trading Jacoby Ellsbury a year and a half before his inevitable departure as a free agent.
ProJo.com - It’s a make or break weekend for the Red Sox
I think it's time we all make a pact and stop talking about the how many games back the Sox are in the AL East or in the WIld Card Race. We're just kidding ourselves at this point. Sure, techinically we're only 4.5 games out of the Wild Card, but every other team from our own division is ahead of us in that race. Not to mention Los Angeles, Oakland, Detroit, and Cleveland. Let's stay above .500 for a week, or just crawl out of our own basement before we start dreaming up playoff scenarios.
Normally when the Red Sox have a chance to be uber-active at the trade deadline, I'm glued to the edge of my seat. It's fun to speculate. It's fun to think up trade scenarios. It's fun to picture shiny new players with a 'B' on their cap. But my blood just isn't pumping this season. MacPherson lays out the names that are most likely to be traded. Are any of those guys going to net anything worthwhile beyond some low-level prospects? Or maybe some cash? They're not.
And frankly, I don't want to see some of those guys moved. I'd love to see Aviles stick around and play the utility role, which he should have been playing all along. The Sox invested a lot of time righting Andrew Miller, and it's finally paying off. So now we're just going to flip him for a new project? Cody Ross has endeared himself to Sox fans quite nicely, although he's maybe the one player on that list with actual trade value. But when your team plays, on average, 25 different outfielders a season, you can't exactly dump those that you have.
But the last name MacPherson throws out is the one that makes me perk up a bit. If the Sox do decide to move Ellsbury (and it's easy to make a strong case that they should), that's when things get interesting. I don't even want to venture a guess as to what the Sox would get in return. I know it's not a Felix Hernandez, unless we throw in a Buchholz and two or three Xander Bogaerts. But if the Sox want to shake their roster up in any meaningful way, he's about the only legitimate trade chip they have in the majors.
Not that I want to see Ellsbury gone, but I also don't want to see this same group of guys suit up for the Sox in 2013. Even if they somehow find a way to nab one of the Wild Card berths, new blood is sorely needed on this team. And we're going to have to crack a few eggs to make lemonade. Or something like that.
On Page 2, don't expect Beckett to be going anywhere.
According to a major league source, while the Red Sox have fielded some exploratory inquiries on right-hander Josh Beckett, such calls to this point have been little more than exercises in kicking the tires. At this point, the source said, there is "nothing close" regarding a potential deal that would send the right-hander (now 5-9 with a 4.57 ERA in 17 starts after Wednesday's loss against the Rangers) to another team.
If Josh Beckett were a free agent, 7 or 8 teams would be falling over themselves to sign him.
Put Josh Beckett on the trade market? Crickets.
That's the world of Major League Baseball.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Surplus parts could be moving | Red Sox search for consistent play | Globe -Red Sox-Yankees series thumbnails | Time for Sox is now | WEEI - Duquette on M&M: Sox should move Beckett | Cop fired for racial slur at Crawford | CSNNE - Red Sox Minor League Notebook: July 26, 2012