Josh Beckett is good to go Sunday night, and reports are that Jon Lester will come off the DL on July 26, but that doesn't mean the Red Sox aren't looking for another starting pitcher to throw into the mix.
Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports that the Sox have had talks with the Colorado Rockies about Ubaldo Jimenez and with the Los Angeles Dodgers about Hiroki Kuroda.
While the Ubaldo talk seems rather light at this stage, he's most likely the best pitcher available at this year's trading deadline -- assuming the Rockies are willing to deal him.
Heyman also reports that the Yankees may be in the best position to land Jimenez, and have been in talks with the Rockies as well, as have the Tigers and Reds.
Jimenez, 5-8 with a 4.08 ERA and 1.31 WHIP has 99 strikeouts and 43 walks on the year in 110.1 innings pitched.
Last year he went 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA and 1.15 WHIP with 214 strikeouts in 221.2 innings pitched, earning him a third place finish in the NL Cy Young voting.
There could be more to the Kuroda talk, as it appears more likely that Kuroda would be dealt than Jimenez.
Kuroda is 6-11 on the year with a 3.13 ERA, 1.20 WHIP 90 strikeouts and 30 walks in 120.2 innings.
Heyman also reports that the Yankees and Tigers are interested in Kuroda.
Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis.
Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time.
The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.
Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball.
Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer. And…
US ambassador to Japan?
Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.
The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons.
When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team."
Would he be interested?
"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.
Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford.
Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.