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

First impressions: Red Sox implode in 6th inning, lose to Royals, 10-4

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First impressions: Red Sox implode in 6th inning, lose to Royals, 10-4

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 10-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals:

 

Boston’s bullpen continues to be a roll of the dice every night.

This time Matt Barnes was the latest reliever to suffer from the plague that’s filled this bullpen all season.

Part of it was bad luck on two perfectly placed balls, the other part was Raul Mondesi lacing a triple, and Lorenzo Cain smacking a single.

Robbie Ross was better, but not by much.

No lead seems safe in the hands of any Boston reliever.

 

David Ortiz keeps putting himself in the same breath as legendary Hall of Famers.

This time it was former Red Sox great Jimmie Foxx, who Ortiz is now tied with at 534 home runs, 18th all time.

Early in the season he’d match a legendary player every so often, it was impressive. Now it’s almost to be expected every night he plays.

Next on the all-time home run list is Yankee Legend Mickey Mantle with 536.

 

The bottom of the order continues to play an important role in Boston’s run production.

Chris Young got things started in the fifth, then Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. kept it rolling so both Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts could cash in all three runners.

Moving JBJ back to ninth Saturday proved to be a good move, and moving Leon back down with his recent scuffles seems to be the best move, too.

Not only can they knock each other in any given instance, but they also put Dustin Pedroia (or Holt) and Bogaerts in run-producing situations, as opposed to just setting the table.

 

Chris Young’s hamstring shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

He was able to leg out the soft grounder to third base in the first inning.

Young has lost a step or two with age, but it seemed like he opened it up on the play.

Hopefully that’s a sign of the end of the injuries in left field this season.

 

Junichi Tazawa looked strong.

That’s more so an observation of his fastball reaching 94 mph.

Tazawa has a long way to go before he’s back to where he was, but the righty took a step in the right direction Sunday night. He retired Kansas City’s 2-3-4 hitters in his first inning and working past a leadoff single in his second inning of work.