The Boston Red Sox will not trade Josh Beckett before Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline, a team source said late Monday night. And while the club fielded numerous inquiries about the availability of outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, the MVP runner-up who is eligible for free agency after the 2013 season, the club has no plans at this time to trade him.
Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, general manager Ben Cherington, his top aides and the team's doctors all met in manager Bobby Valentine's office following Monday night's game. Reporters were ushered out of the clubhouse before the meeting, which lasted at least a half hour, ended. At this point, the team source said, the Red Sox are not expected to make a major deal before the trade deadline.
ESPNBoston | Source: Red Sox won't deal Beckett by deadline
It's looking less and less likely that the Sox will do anything major. Now, maybe they're playing possum. Maybe they're putting misinformation out there. But when you look at the roster, and specifically the guys mentioned in possible deals, it's just not easy to see something happening.
There's a certain stable of players that just isn't being traded. Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Will Middlebrooks are, as they say, part of the solution, not the problem. Meanwhile, there are plenty of big contracts that would be nice to unload, but that would be too burdensome for another team to take on: Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, John Lackey, and even Daisuke Matsuzaka (expiring, but since he will probably produce exactly zero the rest of the way, he's still overpaid) lead the way on that.
Jacoby Ellsbury is fun to talk about, but since he's been hurt all year it's hard to imagine the Sox getting full value for him. Same, obviously, for the aforementioned Lester and Crawford.
It's equally hard to see the Sox dumping any of their major prospects, either.
If any deal happens, it's probably one of the minor guys -- Kelly Shoppach, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Aviles, any of the extra outfielders, Aaron Cook. Restock the farm a bit, call up one of our young guys (Jose Iglesias, Ryan Lavarnway, or Ryan Kalish) to replace whoever they deal, and move on.
But who knows, maybe they'll surprise us. Maybe they'll double down on their commitment to overpaid pitchers and bring in Cliff Lee.
One other thing worth mentioning: Beckett and the other overpaid players could always be moved in August if the Sox really do fall out of contention. Any of those contracts should slide through waivers will no issues, and the Sox wouldn't be upset if some team pounced and just removed the cap number anyway.
On page 2, why Ryan Sweeney is no longer part of trade talks.