Daily Red Sox Links: Ryan Dempster, Daniel Bard, Carl Crawford

CHICAGO, IL - Ryan Dempster, trying desperately to decide if he should go for the high-five or the fist bump. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

The big question that comes around every year around this time is: Who will the Red Sox target at the trade deadline? Will they be buyers or sellers? Will they try to go for a blockbuster, or will they just make a few complimentary moves? If they want to make a blockbuster trade, guys such as Justin Upton, Zach Grienke and Cole Hamels may all be on the market, and clearly would fit in this category. However, some lower-tiered players are available as well, and won't cost the team any of their top prospects. One such pitcher is Ryan Dempster, who has been fantastic this season and will demand a lot less than any of the guys mentioned before. As Paul Swydan points out, while he may not be as sexy of an acquisition as Grienke or Hamels, he is a consistent pitcher who should contribute to a team looking to make a playoff push, much like the Sox. (Paul Swydan; Fangraphs)

  • Another story line heading into the second half of the season is when Daniel Bard will return to the big-league team, and how he will perform when he's back. His struggles with command have been well-noted, and was a topic of discussion at the All-Star Game festivities this week. (Sean McAdam; Comcast Sports Net New England)
  • Speaking of Daniel Bard, he has a teammate that he has known for a long time with whom he shares a lot in common. Not the least of which is struggles as a starter after big expectations. Andrew Miller was kind enough to share some advice with his current pro teammate and former collegiate teammate. (Joe McDonald; ESPNBoston)
  • Another position Ben Cherington may choose to look into improving at the deadline is shortstop. While I disagree that this should be a priority, Evan Brunell makes a very compelling case on why Aviles may be in a slump he can't break out of. (Evan Brunell; Fire Brand of the AL)
  • The Green Monster is easily the most recognizable wall in baseball. In today's baseball world, giant walls like it are an extreme rarity. However, as Frank Jackson point out in a wonderful historic piece, it wasn't always that way. (Frank Jackson; Harball Times)
  • Jacoby Ellsbury should be back in the lineup this weekend for his first game since April. Despite a set back last week, Carl Crawford doesn't seem to far behind, and his tentative return date has been set. (Dayn Perry; CBS Eye On Baseball)
  • To go along with the trade deadline talk from above, Dan Szymborski (Also known as the hardest name to spell on the internet), wrote a great piece on the ten most valuable commodities to be had before the July 31st deadline. (Dan Szymborski; ESPN) ($$$$)
  • The spectacularly mustached Jay Jaffe wrote a series of bold predictions for the second half of the MLB season, and there's a positive note on the Red Sox! (Jay Jaffe; Sports Illustrated)
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