You know summer has arrived when the Red Sox trade rumors start surfacing. We got our first juicy one over the weekend, with the Chicago Sun-Times reporting that the White Sox were close to trading lefthander Mark Buehrle, and that the Red Sox were in the mix.
Here’s the key part of the story:
"The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets were the leading contenders [for Buehrle] until this weekend, with the Boston Red Sox now becoming the front-runner.
"While [White Sox GM Kenny] Williams wouldn't acknowledge that Saturday, he didn't have to. Allard Baird, the Red Sox' assistant to the general manager, was in town Friday to watch the White Sox loss to the Cubs -- in which Buehrle started -- and reportedly was to be sent out on assignment only when things were about to get serious.
"They're getting serious.
"According to the source, the Red Sox not only want to keep Buehrle away from the New York Yankees and are willing to offer him a contract extension in the five-year range he is seeking, but they have a farm system loaded with players in whom the White Sox are interested.
"Starting pitchers Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden are on the White Sox' radar, as well as speedy outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and shortstop Jed Lowrie."
When asked yesterday if Buehrle -- who has a no-hitter this season and is 4-4 with a 3.39 ERA -- was going to be traded to Boston, Williams replied: "Not today."
What do you think of the possibility of Buehrle coming to Boston? If indeed the price would be any of the Sox prospects listed above, would it be worth it? Do you think this is just posturing on the part of Chicago?
Former Red Sox pitcher and current NESN analyst Dennis Eckersley, for one, doesn’t think Boston would be better off with Buehrle.
"I'm not a big Buerhle guy at all,” Eckersley said this morning in an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI. “Talk about pitching to contact. Everybody hits him. The only thing good about him is that it doesn't take very long to pitch a game, one way or another. He throws a lot of strikes. I mean not to get on him, lefthanders have always amazed me how they get by. He knows how to pitch obviously, he threw a no-hitter, he's one of the best lefthanders around.
“I just... I'm afraid of him. I'm afraid of him because he throws too many strikes. I just, Fenway Park, I really don't know. You're only renting him for a couple of months, but beyond that, I'm just not a big fan of his because I think he's very hittable ... to me [Kason] Gabbard's like Buerhle, but younger and throws harder."
Speaking of trade rumors, check out The Buzz, our daily roundup of the latest rumblings regarding the Red Sox from news reports across the Internet.
Information from the Red Sox notebook from today's Globe was used in this report.