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Trade Talk: The dearth of starters

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  July 22, 2011 01:15 PM

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Jon Lester pitches on Monday and Clay Buchholz has started down a path that should have him back in the rotation by mid August or so. As the pennant race heats up, the Sox should have a rotation of Josh Beckett, Lester, Buchholz and John Lackey with Tim Wakefield, Andrew Miller, Kyle Weiland and others as candidates for the No. 5 job.

That sounds like enough and it might have to be. The odds of landing a competent starter via trade would seem remote.

The Rockies are not really interested in trading Ubaldo Jimenez and threw his name out there just to see if they would get overwhelmed. The second-best starter on the market right now is Hiroki Kuroda of the Dodgers, who has a full no-trade clause and no desire to leave the West Coast according to reports.

That brings us to Wandy Rodriguez of the Astros. He has decent-enough statistics (3.67 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) but has a 5.25 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP in 22 starts against American League teams in his career. That would seem like a red flag.

There is talk the Rays will pack it in and trade James Shields. If so, they would want a knock-your-socks-off package to trade him within the division. Beyond that, there's not much.

The question will be whether a player becomes available who is better than Wakefield, Miller, etc. For the moment, that seems unlikely.

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Just a programming note. I'm off this weekend and will return to work on Tuesday after a foray into the wilds of New Hampshire. Mike Vega, Nicole Auerbach and a cast of thousands from the Globe will handle the blog duties this weekend.

Enjoy the games, play nice in the comments section and I'll catch you in a few days.

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