Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Aaron Cook (35) throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
Halfway through August, and a day removed from a trade that sent Kelly Shoppach to the New York Mets, the Red Sox are looking to potentially make another move. They've placed Aaron Cook, Felix Doubront, and Andrew Miller on waivers, a move that might give them the opportunity for another trade.
According to Nick Cafardo, Felix Doubron't won't be going anywhere, whether he clears waivers or is claimed. The Red Sox are likely just throwing him out there, like so many other players in August, out of curiosity. The ability to pull a player back when they've been claimed allows this. As he's used just over a year of service time, the 24-year-old Doubront can be an inexpensive back-end piece for the rotation for a few years -- there's no reason to move him, but there's always reason to listen.
Andrew Miller is likely somewhere in the middle of this group, as Boston has no real need to deal him, but if someone was willing to overpay for lefty relief help for the last month-plus of the season, it's at least worth listening to. Miller owns a 3.00 ERA in 30 innings and 39 games this year, striking out 10.2 per nine with what is easily a career-best 3.4 K/BB. He's arbitration eligible for the first time in 2013, but given his overall career, should remain somewhat inexpensive. The lefty is making $1.04 million this year.
Cook is the most obvious trade candidate of the bunch. He's only under contract for 2012, and the Red Sox have five starters on their roster already, in a season in which contention looks further out of reach every day, especially when David Ortiz hasn't returned and Will Middlebrooks won't. He's been a bit of a high-wire act with his pitch-to-contact, heavy-sinker approach, but when he's on, he's great. That could appeal to someone who is looking for an inexpensive rotation piece as they attempt to stay in the playoff race, or replace an injured arm.
Cook has posted a 4.58 ERA and 96 ERA+ in 57 innings in 2012, but also has more walks and homers than strikeouts, making him as dependent on the defense behind him as any pitcher in the last 60 years. It's a risk, but there are teams that could use him, as that sinker and the grounders it induces is still better than what some clubs have for depth.