6. If the Sox end up trading a young pitcher for a quality bat, the guess here is that it will be Michael Bowden. Buchholz is as close to as untouchable as it gets -- only a blockbuster deal for, say, a 27-year-old Gold Glove first baseman who leads the league in homers in a pitchers' park or someone similar would entice the Sox to give up the 25-year-old righthander. Justin Masterson, who has the stuff, makeup, and versatility to be an important member of the Sox staff for the next decade, also isn't going anywhere. But Bowden, a superb young pitcher, but one who peaks in the low 90s with a shortarmed motion that makes your shoulder throb just watching his delivery, has never had more appeal to a potential trade partner after his impressive performance in Triple A this season at age 22. He'd be the pride of the farm system for many teams. For the Sox, he's the third-most appealing among their young pitchers, maybe fourth, depending upon how fast you think Junichi Tazawa can rise.
7. Interesting to see that the Red Sox reportedly showed some interest in Orlando Cabrera. Based on his numbers -- .236 average, .286 on-base percentage -- his offensive decline seems well underway at age 34, and his demeanor in the clubhouse gets mixed reviews. But bringing him to Boston worked out fairly well once before if I recall correctly, and at least you know he'll provide sure hands at shortstop. At this point, that's more than enough.
8. In a related note, isn't Julio Lugo destined to play for the Mets at some point? Seems like an ideal fit. Make it happen, Omar. And soon. You know you want to. C'mon, dude, just do it. (Wait. You don't think he still dislikes Theo, do you?)
9. As for today's Completely Random Baseball Card:
Yankees fans have been gnawing their way out of the woodwork this week, so I figure we should give them one of their favorites. Little-known fact: This is the closest the charming Brown ever came to smiling.
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.