With the trading deadline only four days away, the rumors seem to be flying with more desperation than usual. Maybe it's because of the fact that this is one of the best seller's markets we've seen in some time, or maybe it's because so many teams feel they're only one starting pitcher away from making a second half charge to the playoffs. Whatver the case, it's juicy for the radio hosts and us here in the blogosphere, and just like the rest of the pundits, I'm going to tell you exactly what the Sox need to do to push themselves over the top:
I know, I know. It's not A-Rod to the Phils, Abreu to the Yankees, or Soriano to the other 29 teams in the league, but despite it's tabloid shortcomings, doing nothing is probably the best move the front office can make.
Now, pick any Joe Fan out of Red Sox Nation and ask him what the Sox could use. You're almost sure to hear something sounding like "farting witcher". Thing is, where are they to be had? Dontrelle Willis? The Marlins are doing too well with too young of a team to trade everyone's favorite leg kick, and besides, they got all the prospects they could ever want in their offseason fire sale. John Smoltz? Apparently, when Atlanta begins to go on a hot streak and approaches .500, it's considered a playoff run. Besides, Smoltz is a god in Atlanta, so why go somewhere just to be The New Guy for 2 months. Barry Zito? Oakland's resident surfer dude may be riding the crest of the American League's worst offense, but he's also paddling through what looks to the be the AL's worst division, tied for first at 52 - 49 and posting a 10-7 record with a 3.52 ERA. Beane may be a workout freak, but he's certainly no dummy. Expect Zito to stay put in case the A's make a headfirst charge into October.
The rest of the pitchers that may or may not be available are so mediocre that they're likely not worth the prospects they'd be traded for. Livan Hernandez, Tony Armas, Kyle Lohse, Jon Lieber... the list goes on for miles, but the talent doesn't get any better. The Sox have David Wells finally ready to come back and pitch for the Big Club, and Tim Wakefield is only a few weeks away. They're old and, occasionally, inconsistent. But they're ours. Any issue that would need addressing from the FO in the next month and a half gets a little bit easier when you add those two veterans and sprinkle in a fresh crop of Jon Lester when needed.
It's not exciting, it's not headline worthy, and it's certainly not going to send Steve Phillips into a ten minute BBTN rant. Then again, that's a good thing. These Sox have the depth they need when they dust off the DL a little bit, and I think we'd all rather see our prospects come up tomorrow than witness another fleecing trade today.