Ask Nick: What will Red Sox do at trade deadline?

There’s a lot of discussion over what the Red Sox should do at the trading deadline. For me it’s simple – stick to the White Sox.

Try to work out a package for starter Jake Peavy and reliever Jesse Crain, solving both a rotation issue and a bullpen problem.

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Obviously, you have to see if Crain is healthy. He could start pitching again as soon as this weekend and the Red Sox will have scouts watching both pitchers. Peavy is ideal because he’s got that bulldog mentality and can handle postseason.

The biggest positive is that both pitchers have worked with Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves, who speaks highly of both of them. Matt Thornton has already come over from the White Sox per Nieves’s recommendation. For a pitcher to be able to have familiarity with a pitching coach when you change teams, I think is huge.

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Yes, you have to give up someone you don’t want to lose to make a deal like this happen, but you have to do it. This is Boston’s chance to win the AL East and really, to win it all. You don’t have this chance very often so when it’s there and you have the chips in your farm system to obtain veteran talent, I think you need to go for it.

This isn’t the time to hold back. The one advantage Boston has over Tampa Bay is the resources to make something big happen, to acquire players that can make an impact. If you have that advantage and don’t use it because of being afraid to trade prospects, that could backfire.

Here’s this week’s mailbag:

With the bullpen crumbling due to injury and with the uncertainty in the starting rotation, it seems the Sox have no choice but to part with some young talent. They don’t have young arms to spare, so they’ll have to deal from areas of depth like the left side of the infield. If the Sox could get Matt Thornton for Brandon Jacobs, what impact arms could they expect to get in return for Will Middlebrooks, Iglesias, and Jackie Bradley?
Peter, South Hamilton
Don’t think they’ll deal Bradley (for Ellsbury protection) or Iglesias (their future SS). I think Middlebrooks could be in play, but not one of the guys other teams are knocking the door down for at the moment. I agree, if they want a good veteran starter they have to give up somebody they don’t want to give up. That’s all there is to it. When you have a chance to win like they do this year, I think you have to go for it.

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If you were to make one trade right now who would you go for? If it was me, I would trade for outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.
Rene, Lawrence
That’s a good one Rene, but right now I’d trade for a starting pitcher (Peavy) and a reliever (Jesse Crain).

After Monday’s start, Brandon Workman is only about 24 innings shy of his career high in innings pitched for a season (138). What do you think Farrell and the front office have in mind for his innings limit this season? Do you think they’ll eventually shut him down or will they try and get everything they can out of him by sticking him in the pen?
Wade, Brighton
If the Red Sox acquire another starting pitcher, he’ll go back down to the minors and they’ll do whatever they need to do. But I haven’t heard a thing about limiting his innings. If he’s a viable starter for them I don’t think you’ll see any restrictions.

Tom Verducci’s recent article on the Braun suspension suggests that MLB investigators may soon be looking into “young ballplayers from South Florida who were connected to [Alex] Rodriguez as something of a mentor.” I remember reading a few years ago that Jose Iglesias trained with Rodriguez during the winters in Miami. Any indications that he’ll be involved in the Biogenesis scandal?
Daniel, Providence
He trained with him briefly one winter two years ago. Haven’t heard Iglesias’s name implicated.

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I know Aceves is not on the 40-man roster but he is not listed on the PawSox roster either? Has he been released or is he suspended again? Why has nobody stepped up to take him on even if the Red Sox pay the salary?
Dick, Weston
On DL with oblique strain.
If Clay Buchholz isn’t sure of himself he won’t be able to “let it go.” The Sox need to get another top of the line starter like Jake Peavy or, better, Cliff Lee. Does Cliff Lee put them in the playoffs?
Dick, Yarmouth Port
I agree they need another starting pitcher. Peavy seems to be target No. 1 for the moment because of his familiarity with Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves, who had him in Chicago. Peavy seems like the veteran presence they need. I know he’s injury prone, but he could be a factor and you’d also have him next season.
Who is the man who always sits behind home plate and has a yellow head set on. I think he is talking to someone or broadcasting.
Marilyn, Sharon
That’s Jeremy Kapstein, senior adviser for the Red Sox.
Jose Iglesias has been touted for his defensive skills, but I think Stephen Drew has a much more accurate and stronger arm. Flashing the leather is only good if you can complete the play to get the out, wouldn’t you agree? I’m sure John Farrell and he coaching staff recognize this. Is Iglesias working on improving his throwing?
Denise, Sedley, Va.
Iglesias has a much stronger arm than Drew. Lazy on his throws might be accurate. He can throw the ball off balance with accuracy which few SS l can do.
The whole issue with Buchholz is kind of puzzling. Everyone on the blogs is ripping him. I am not one to judge what someone feels for pain but I do believe he doesn’t help himself with saying he is not going out to pitch until he is 100% especially after the teams clears him to pitch. This seems like a reoccurring theme with the Red Sox and physical issues. They should have sent him to Dr. Andrews right after initial diagnosis if that’s the peace of mind he needs. Your take on the situation?
Frank, Middleboro
Second opinions are up to the player, not the team. The Red Sox have the best MGH orthopedists. It’s not a Mickey Mouse operation. It’s all about individual pain tolerance. Buchholz doesn’t feel comfortable pitching right now. What can you do? We’ve gone through this with Ellsbury taking forever to return from injuries. Everyone’s different I guess.
Why do some players hold gloves in their hand when on base?
David, West Chester, Pa.
They use them to slide so they won’t hurt their hands.
I constantly see Jose Iglesias taking the first pitch, and it is always right down the middle of the plate, as opposing teams have probably seen the same thing I have. Wouldn’t he be better off if he started to swing at some of those pitches rather than start off the count 0-1?
Joe, Rehoboth, Del.
Yes! It’s always good to change patterns. Hitters are so pig-headed sometimes.
Is Ben Cherington a better GM than Theo Epstein? It sure looks that way based on the last 12 months.
Alan, Tucson, Ariz.

Theo won two championships.
What do you think about the Sox continuing their run of going against the grain and instead of going after starting pitching like everyone else they go Giancarlo Stanton with a package of Bogaerts, Ranaudo, and either Webster or De La Rosa?
Josh, Brooklyn
Not bad at all. To obtain a talent likle Stanton, sure you’d have to give up someone like Bogaerts to get it done in a package similar to what you mentioned. He would be worth it, I think. The Red Sox feel Bogaerts will be a special hitter in the majors.
Between Mike Napoli’s alarming drop of power at the plate since late May, I’m wondering if we will see Napoli in Boston in 2014, let alone as the regular first baseman come September. Would Will Middlebrooks move to 1B?
Mike, Hendersonville, Tenn.
Napoli is a streaky hitter. He’s turning on the power again now. As for 2014, I question whether he’ll be resigned. A lot depends on how well Middlebrooks finishes things off at Pawtucket and if he comes up here again shortly and hits. If Napoli drives in 100 runs, they’ll probably offer another one-year deal.
Is there an “amount of games played” incentive in Napoli’s restructured contract? It seems like he gets a day off once a week and I was curious if you think there’s anything behind it from the Sox perspective. He’s stayed healthy and is on pace for only about 140 games. I understand he has a shaky medical history and they want to keep him fresh but it’s not like he’s catching.
Wade, Brighton
He gets $8 million in bonuses if he’s on the active roster for 165 days. So far, so good. He’ll likely earn $13 million this season.