CHICAGO - Oakland righty Rich Harden is very much available in a deal according to a major league source, but the A's don't consider Harden a "cheap fix" for someone.
The Red Sox have a lot of interest in Harden and have engaged in talks with the A's for oft-injured righty. This is a situation to keep an eye on because Harden seems to fit what the Red sox want. The A's want a fair return.
White Sox lefty Matt Thornton could be a bullpen piece the Red Sox may have some interest in. Their lefty relief situation currently isn't the best with an erratic Franklin Morales and Randy Williams. Thornton makes $5.5 million per for the next two years and he's 34.
It seems unlikely now that White Sox rightfielder Carlos Quentin is moving especially now with the White Sox in the race. The Red Sox had interest in Quentin, but the price tag is huge and the Red Sox know they need to devote their resources toward pitching.
The Red Sox like Oakland outfielder Josh Willingham's bat, but don't think he can play right field at Fenway.
As we reported earlier, the Red Sox are still involved in the Erik Bedard talks. The Yankees are in it as well.
Yes, the Yankees and Red Sox are competing for the same players - Ubaldo Jimenez, Hiroki Kuroda, Thornton, and Bedard.