Extra Bases

Sox digging deep for a reliever

The Red Sox, according to major league sources, will not overpay for Toronto lefty Scott Downs, who would have been their first choice to occupy the seventh-inning role in front of Daniel Bard. At this hour, the Downs scenario seemed a longshot unless the Jays got off asking for a top prospect like Casey Kelly.

The Jays are in good position considering they’re playing above .500. If they can’t get the moon and the stars for Downs and home run leader Jose Bautista they’d might as well keep them and enhance their team this offseason for a run in the AL East next season.

The Red Sox expect to do something to help their bullpen by the trading deadline Saturday afternoon. Toward that end they’ve explored everyone from Rafael Perez, Will Ohman, Mike Gonzalez, Matt Capps, Michael Wuertz, Craig Breslow, Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood, David Aardsma and Kyle Farnsworth to name a few.

Judging by the cost of player talent it would take to obtain a solid reliever, it’s unlikely the Sox would be in the catcher/outfield market unless they could swap one of their extra players on their 25-man roster for a new piece.

Certainly, as the trade deadline nears prices tend to come down.

The Red Sox have also been shopping Ramon Ramirez for the past few weeks with no match yet. But they would have to know they could obtain a reliever in order to move Ramirez. A National League team would be more apt to take a flier on Ramirez, who has good stuff and could fool hitters who haven’t seen him as often as AL hitters.


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