After four straight losses, Jake Peavy being dealt to San Francisco, and a report that Mike Carp has asked for a trade, things may be heating up for the Red Sox as “sellers” heading down the stretch towards the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
So who’s next in line to be dealt by the Sox in the final days until the deadline? Here is a look at several candidates, each of whom has a set of skills that could help a contender looking to fill a hole in hopes of making a run at a World Series title.
After the news broke on Saturday that he had requested a trade, Carp could be a good lefthanded bat off the bench who can play both in the outfield and an infield position (first base), particularly for a National League club. His value is pretty low, however, as he has totaled just 95 plate appearances this year, hitting .215, and missed a month due to a broken foot.
A strong clubhouse leader, Gomes has rediscovered his knack for clutch-hitting, especially in pinch-hit situations, and can pummel a lefthanded reliever with the best of them. It was reported earlier this month that the Royals are interested in Gomes, and got a look at him when they came to Boston for a three-game set immediately following the All-Star Break. Gomes is hitting .239 with six homers and 32 RBIs after seeing time in 73 games this season.
Miller has bounced back well after a foot injury that cost him most of the 2013 season, and is a tall, powerful southpaw that can dominate hitters on both sides of the plate, holding both to batting averages under .200. He’s made 47 appearances in 2014, totaling 39.1 innings with an ERA of 2.52. He is also set to become a free agent after the season, meaning the Sox need to deal him if they are unsure as to whether they can re-sign him and risk him walking away for nothing.
One of the bright spots on the Red Sox this season not name Brock Holt, Uehara has been as reliable as he was during his incredible 2013 run from being named closer in June to being named ALCS MVP and clinching the World Series, although he’s certainly had fewer chances to pitch with how poorly the Red Sox have performed. In 44 appearances for the Sox, he has 20 saves and an ERA of 1.58, earning his first career All-Star nod. He would clearly be one of the more highly sought-after players the Sox could deal, as any team that could add Uehara would instantly get a massive upgrade in the back of their bullpen.
The biggest name is also the one that is the hardest to predict. Lester is having perhaps his best season ever, posting a 10-7 record with a 2.52 ERA in 21 starts. A story that has been at the forefront this entire season has been whether the Red Sox would be able to work out an extension with their ace before he hits the free agent market, or if whether they would choose to sell very high on a starter with great postseason success. On Friday, Lester added another wrinkle to the plot line, as he stated he would still consider re-signing with the Red Sox after the season even if they decide to deal him at the deadline. Only the coming days will tell what the Red Sox truly intend to do with the southpaw that has been the anchor of their rotation for the past half-decade.