Still hoping to secure an American League wild card berth, the Boston Red Sox are searching for a starting pitcher according to media reports, and now it appears they would like to add a right-handed bat, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reported today that the Red Sox will not trade Jon Lester, partly because of his previous track record as a reliable top of the rotation arm and also since the team believes that he can rebound and help the Sox turn their season arond.
Edes also writes that several teams – including the Pirates and the Reds – have approached the Red Sox about their surplus of outfielders. Ryan Kalish, Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross are among the outfielders drawing interest.
At 49-49, Boston is one of many teams in contention for a wild card spot. When David Ortiz returns from the disabled list, the Red Sox will boast a lineup that also includes Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez and Ross, who has been one of the best off-season free agent signings in the majors.
Inked to a one-year, $3 million contract, the 31-year-old Ross is hitting .266 with 16 home runs, 50 RBI and a .884 OPS. He is one of the few productive right-handed hitters in the Red Sox lineup considering that Pedroia is having a down year and shortstop Mike Aviles has a sub-.300 on-base percentage.
Because the Red Sox are trying to add a right-handed bat, it would make little sense for them to trade Ross. Even if Boston falls short of the playoffs for the third consecutive season, Ross will likely be part of the team’s 2013 plans since he is a right-handed bat with power, he can proficiently play the corner outfield spots and he is a positive clubhouse presence.
The post-season hero for the 2010 World Series winning San Francisco Giants will likely receive a raise, but it is feasible to project the Red Sox could sign him to a two-year deal between $10 and $12 million.
Trade Ryan Kalish ?
Chances are, the Red Sox will not part ways with Kalish either. A left-handed hitter who can proficiently play all three outfield positions, Kalish is a Dirt Dawg-style player the Red Sox covet, and he has a chance to earn the starting right field job next season.
Though he hit just .217 in a short stint with the Red Sox recently, he is still getting his swing back in order after missing much of the last year after undergoing shoulder and neck surgeries.
He is healthy again and producing at Triple-A Pawtucket.
At the latest, Kalish will likely rejoin the Red Sox when rosters expand on September 1.
It is probable that Boston will deal an outfielder, even with the uncertain health of Carl Crawford‘s injured left elbow.