The Boston Red Sox have been linked to virtually every big name available this summer in their pursuit to add to their already potent lineup. But now the Sox seem to have shifted their focus away from bats and are feverishly looking to add a starting pitcher.
With John Lackey struggling again this season, Daisuke Matsuzaka on the 60-day disabled list and Clay Buchholz’s return this season far from certain, Boston’s rotation could really use a boost. Reports say the Red Sox would even be willing to part with premium prospects in exchange for the right pitcher, especially if they thought it would dramatically improve their chances at winning a World Series.
The Red Sox are continuing to talk to Colorado about Ubaldo Jimenez, and the Rockies may actually be willing to move their prized right-hander in the right deal. Other options for Boston include Los Angeles Dodgers righty Hiroki Kuroda, Oakland A’s righty Rich Harden and Seattle Mariners lefty Erik Bedard.
Kuroda is 36 and has an abysmal 6-13 record this year, but he’s been hurt by the Dodgers terrible offense. He carries an impressive 3.11 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.
It took Harden a long time to actually get into Oakland’s rotation this year, but he has finally arrived and made four starts. He’s 2-1 with a 4.63 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. Those are pedestrian numbers, but as always his pure stuff is sure to entice someone. It seems like he’s been around forever, but Harden is just 29 years old.
Bedard has been out with a left knee sprain, but he will return to the mound on Friday. The 32-year-old has been excellent when healthy this year, posting a 4-6 record with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.
Expect the Red Sox to make calls about each of those guys at some point. All three will be free agents this winter, which means they could probably be had for a lesser package of prospects.
Jimenez would come at a considerable cost to the Red Sox, and the Rockies could always just end up keeping him. They’re in no rush to make a deal and that will work against Boston in this case.