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Red Sox focusing trade efforts on Carrasco and Ross. Bradley on the way out?

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The Red Sox might be honing in on their two biggest targets as the deadline nears.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

With less than two hours to go until the trade deadline, the Red Sox are focused in on pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Tyson Ross according to Gordon Edes, who says Jackie Bradley Jr. might well be one the way out in any given deal.

For the Red Sox who are in major need of pitching help before 2016, the trade deadline has become something of a second offseason, with Boston targetting young pitchers with years of team control left, perhaps concerned that if they waited until October they would already have been traded to contenders or had their teams shift focus from selling to buying.

Both Ross and Carrasco are interesting candidates, the relative merits and risks of whom we've already covered today as the deadline madness got underway. The thing about both is that they're not exactly the surefire anchor the Red Sox really need when it comes down to it. Both are in the midst of slightly uncertain seasons, which at once might keep the price down a little, but also leaves the Red Sox headed into 2016 in a similarly uncertain situation to what they faced heading into 2015. Perhaps if Clay Buchholz weren't once again set to come off a season where he spent most of the second half on the disabled list...but that scenario has not boded well for Buchholz in years past.

Given that, Carrasco and Ross are fine--even very good options as one of two major pitching acquisitions, but they can't carry the burden alone. Headed into 2016 with a rotation of Buchholz, Carrasco/Ross, Porcello, Miley, and Rodriguez relies too much on too many uncertain pieces, especially if either Ross or Carrasco requires the Red Sox to trade away some of their Triple-A rotation depth.

The Red Sox would not be wrong to pick up either of the two starters, depending on the price. But their work would certainly not be over, and they'd be in a strange position with five obvious starters locked in but the rotation still unfinished. Under those circumstances, it wouldn't be surprising to see them look to trade one of their more easily moved pitchers like Wade Miley in order to make a significant upgrade.

As for the inclusion of Jackie Bradley Jr., that's really no surprise at all. While Red Sox fans are glad he's finally getting a consistent chance to play after tearing up Triple-A, he would have to do an awful lot to make the Red Sox comfortable enough to give him a starting role. He's got value even as just an excellent defender, but he's definitely the sort of player the Red Sox are looking to move if they can.

Speaking of which...

Not to get your hopes up, but what is the deadline for if not having dreams built up and dashed?