First pitch: Trade talks relatively quiet at Fenway


Less than five hours before the non-waiver trade deadline at 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, a source with knowledge of the Red Sox trade talks describes the scene at Fenway as relatively quiet, though, of course, that could change -- and frequently does -- as the deadline draws closer.

One thing is clear: The odds of the Red Sox landing a starting pitcher to bolster the rotation would seem almost non-existent. Matt Garza is still available, though the Chicago Cubs are talking to other teams (Toronto, Cincinnati) about him.

Cliff Lee could be had in the right deal, but the prospect of taking on approximately 95 million in future contract obligations would seem to be way too much for the Red Sox to contemplate. The Red Sox, remember, are aiming to get below the 189 million competitive
balance tax threshold for 2013 and adding a third annual contract over 20 million -- to go with Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez -- isn't the way to go about it.

There's some chatter surrounding the Red Sox' two catchers, Jarrod Saltalmacchia and Kelly Shoppach. Saltalamacchia has had a breakout year in the power department -- 20 homers in just 268 at-bats, good for a .511 slugging percentage -- and as such, is attracting "some'' interest, according to a baseball source.

The Sox could conceivably move Saltalamacchia when his value is highest, then go with a catching tandem of Ryan Lavarnway and Kelly Shoppach.

Shoppach has attracted interest from Milwaukee -- which, ironically, just dealt another former Red Sox catcher, George Kottaras, to Oakland -- and, to a lesser extent, the Washington Nationals.

Ryan Sweeney's self-inflicted hand injury, meanwhile, would seem to take him off the market, as it seems virtually certain that he's headed to the DL. That leaves Daniel Nava as an extra outfielder to deal.

Meanwhile, according to the Boston Globe, the Sox are said to be searching for a right-handed hitting outfielder. For now, Cody Ross is the only righty outfielder on the roster. Nava is a switch-hitter, but has been far more effective from the left side.

Contact Us