These names - Johnson, Snyder, Clement and Wells - are not the answer to our problems. I could go over why these guys can't get the job done, but instead, I'll propose who can get the job done. Brace yourself, because I think the Sox should acquire...
Sure, he's 40-years-old. Sure, he's got a 4.89 earned run average. Sure, he's a little expensive. But he's got playoff experience and it won't take too much to acquire the great veteran.
As of right now, the trade market for starting pitchers is quite thin. Up until a few days ago, Jeff Weaver was the hottest commodity. Yes, the 3-10, 6.29 ERA Weaver. Unless something spectacular happens, Maddux will be our best bet come the trade deadline, and I have no problem with that.
What I like about Maddux are a couple of things. He has a lot of playoff experience which, obviously, will serve us well if we make the playoffs and need to rely on a starter outside of Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield. He's pitched a total of 190 innings of postseason play. That's just astounding to me. And they've been a good 190 innings: he has a 3.22 ERA over that span - he even has a save in one of two postseason relief appearances.
I also like the fact that he's a veteran. If Maddux came to Boston, we know that he wouldn't crack under the bright lights of Boston. He would treat it like he's been doing his whole career. Unlike a guy like Weaver - who crumbled like blue cheese in New York - we don't have to worry about him losing anything because he's in a brighter spotlight.
And how much could the Cubs actually want for Maddux? The Cubs are going nowhere this season (they are 14.5 back of NL Central leading Cardinals), and a fire-sale seems imminent. Maybe the Cubs will drive a hard bargain, but at this point is Maddux worth anything more than a C+ prospect if the Sox take a big chunk of his salary?
If the Sox do trade for Maddux, it's a crapshoot to what kind of results we'd get. He could suffer because now he's facing nine real hitters, not eight. Or he could do well because he'd be in a new league, facing new hitters.
Some bloggers want the Nats' Livan Hernandez. Hernandez, though, has just been plain bad. Lefties are hitting him, righties are hitting him. He's been bad at home, and he's been bad away. The only thing going for Hernandez is that he's a workhorse; nine innings for him is an easy feat. But that doesn't matter if he gets smacked for nine innings, does it?
More names will pop up between now and the trade deadline. But keep Maddux's name in the back of your head. I haven't heard of the Sox pursuing him yet, but I'd be shocked if the Red Sox haven't made at least one call to the Cubbies.