Red Sox consider pitching, eye Jimenez

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Red Sox consider pitching, eye Jimenez

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
CHICAGO -- For the better part of the last few weeks, the Red Sox have been in search of some help through a deal. Now, it seems as if that quest will likely extend all the way until Sunday afternoon, when the non-waiver trade deadline looms.

With uncertainty over Clay Buchholz's immediate future -- he hasn't pitched in six weeks and his back is still enough of a concern that the team is flying him across the country to visit with a specialist Monday -- the team's clear focus is on obtaining a starting pitcher.

For now, the team's fourth and fifth starters -- Andrew Miller and Tim Wakefield -- have only two wins since July 7 and the prospect of going into the playoffs with uncertainty beyond Josh Beckett and Jon Lester is understandably unsettling.

The problem, as is often the case at this time of year, is the marketplace.

With little quality starting pitching available, what little that's out there is predictably overpriced.

The best available arm belongs to Ubaldo Jimenez, but the Colorado Rockies appear to be seeking a package that would include three of the Red Sox' top prospects -- plus others.

The New York Yankees have already balked at the Rockies' asking price and some reports have the Red Sox being the most aggressive team on Jimenez.

It's possible that the Sox are merely keeping themselves in the bidding with Colorado so as to ensure that he doesn't wind up with the Yankees at the 11th hour.

The Rockies have been rather public about shopping Jimenez. They were reportedly unhappy with his poor conditioning this past spring, while Jimenez was said to be miffed that the Rockies extended the contracts of teamamtes Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, but didn't reward him with a new deal.

If hard feelings exists (to say nothing of the club's obvious willingness to move him), it may be too late for the Rockies to pull back. On Sunday, they could lower their demands and settle for two top prospects.

If that doesn't happen, the Sox may be dealing with some other pitchers who are far more problematic than Jimenez, though, it would follow, also far more affordable.

The Red Sox were one of a handful of teams with scouts watching lefty Erik Bedard come off the DL Friday night in Seattle, but whether it was because of a month-long layoff, Bedard was not impressive, allowing five runs in just an inning and a third.

That should, in theory, make Bedard less expensive in terms of prospects. But his poor outing might also make the Red Sox pause.

Hiroki Kuroda is yet another option, but the pursuit of the Los Angeles Dodgers righthander is complicated by the fact that he has a full no-trade clause. Attempting to work out a deal Sunday for Kuroda, who is known to be deliberate in his thinking, may be quite duanting.

The best the Sox can hope for is a lowering of demands, reducing their risk while adding an arm. It's highly unlikely they'll know whether they succeed until the final hours Sunday afternoon.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Pedro says David Price has shown signs of what it takes to be an ace

Pedro says David Price has shown signs of what it takes to be an ace

Pedro Martinez knows what it takes to be an ace. He also knows what it takes to pitch successfully in Boston.

And he believes David Price is capable of being the former and has the makeup to achieve the latter -- in time.

"I would just say, as a human being, I would say (he) has to make adjustments,'' said Martinez when asked what advice he would give Price. "It's the first year on a team that holds a lot of expectations. For David, it's just a matter of probably understanding how he feels comfortable around the things that he does, what David Price needs for David Price to feel more comfortable and make the adjustment as quick as possible.

"I believe he's capable of it. He's given a lot of signs that he's the ace we all expect. And, to be honest, I think he's going to be alright. It's just a matter of making the adjustment as quickly as possible.''

Whether Price may be trying too hard to justify his landmark $217 million deal, or unsure of how to handle the disappointing results he's provided, Martinez suggested that Price has to be mentally tough.

"Sometimes, it's within you what you can do,'' he said. "I think he has to trust what he can do. I think that probably trusting what he knows and what he's capable of doing would be the biggest key.''

Whatever the reason, Martinez doesn't believe there's a physical explanation for Price's struggles.

"I don't see anything wrong,'' he said. "His velocity is there. He can last eight, nine innings, easily. He's in great shape. He looks good overall, except some games just don't go his way and sometimes it doesn't look like everything (works) for him. But I believe he just has to trust what he is, the presence he has and his knowledge.

"It's up to you sometimes to say, 'Hey I know this. I know this situation, so I'm just going to go approach it.' And that's probably what he needs to do - is just trust who he is, what he knows and the stuff he has.''

When asked if he would approach Price and deliver a message, Martinez was careful.

''I don't want to invade anybody's territory,'' he said. "I would like to be respectful to him and also the coaching staff. I'm part of the organization. I'm here to help. But like I said, the biggest adjustment is the adjustment David Price makes. It's not really what Pedro says, or what Pedro used to do. David Price is David Price; Pedro Martinez is Pedro Martinez.''

Martinez was also asked about Clay Buchholz, who is currently serving a mop-up man in the bullpen.

"Bucky lost a little bit of confidence,'' said Martinez. "That's what it looks like to me. Right now, he doesn't really have a path to follow and I think he's missing (Jon) Lester, big time. He's missing (John) Lackey. He's missing probably relating to someone just like him, who really understands him from back (in the day) -- David Ross, Jason Varitek.

"I think he's mature enough to kind of understand what to do. But some people don't actually have that ability to understand what to do when times of struggles come.''

Finally, Martinez was asked about his reaction to the Red Sox dealing away pitching phenom Anderson Espinoza in the trade for Drew Pomeranz. Martinez had been a vocal supporter of Espinoza and predicted stardom for him.

"The thing is, you have to understand, this team is trying to work for today, for this year. That's the reason you produce those kind of players, so you can have the flexibility to move to different areas,” Martinez said. “I was extremely proud that I was part of the (group) that saw Espinoza from the first time and hopefully now the trade we made is going to end up helping us win the championship.

"And Espinoza probably will feel really proud that, if we win it this year, he was probably the biggest reason.''

Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam

Report: Benintendi ‘front man’ in Chris Sale trade talks

Report: Benintendi ‘front man’ in Chris Sale trade talks

Any Red Sox trade discussions the past few weeks have pretty much begun and ended with their top two prospects, second baseman Yoan Moncada and outfielder Andrew Benintendi.

As the Red Sox continue their search for starting pitching, those two names keep coming up. So, naturally, comes a report Tuesday that puts Benintendi at the center of a deal for Chicago White Sox left-handed ace Chris Sale. 

Andrew Benintendi “could be the front man in a multi-player Chris Sale trade if talks progress,” according to Chicago-based mlb.com columnist Phil Rogers. 

With top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza dealt to the Padres in trade for Drew Pomeranz, the question is, would Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski further deplete his prospect reserve by dealing Benintendi, the 2015 first-round pick out of Arkansas who is hitting .276 with six homers and 36 RBI in 58 games at Double-A Portland? 

The Red Sox' performance is the next six games until the Aug. 1 trade deadline may hold the answer. 

 

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Tigers lineups: Wright tries to right Sox

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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Tigers lineups: Wright tries to right Sox

The Red Sox send knuckleballer Steven Wright (12-5, American League-leading 2.57 ERA) to the mound tonight in the middle game of their three-game series with the Detroit Tigers. 

Wright has won his past four starts. The Tigers counter with right-hander Mike Pelfrey (3-9, 4.78). The Red Sox field their standard lineup, with Ryan Hanigan catching Wright, as they try to rebound from a 4-2 loss on Monday night. 

The lineups:

TIGERS
Ian Kinsler 2B
Jose Iglesias SS
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
Nick Castellanos 3B
Justin Upton LF
Mike Aviles RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Tyler Collins CF

Mike Pelfrey

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 3B
Ryan Hanigan C
Brock Holt LF

Steven Wright RHP