Ben Cherington Looking to Add Starting Pitcher Through Either Trade or Free Agency

BOSTON –– Boston could benefit from a No. 3 starter.

With Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz carrying the top of the rotation, the Red Sox are primed to sift through pitching options that could bridge the gap to Felix Doubront and John Lackey –– the team’s fourth and fifth starters, respectively.

While Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster are starting options in the farm system, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington indicated that he’d be likely to go outside the organization to add to the rotation.

“We’re considering all sorts of pitching options, both free agents and also I’m sure we’ll talk to a couple of teams about a trade,” Cherington said. “I don’t think — I’m not ruling out acquiring someone we would control longer term, but what we want to do is add to the 2013 rotation. I’d like to do that in a way that’s smart for the long term, too.”

Cherington said he never aggressively pursued trade’s last week, especially with the Angels making Ervin Santana and Dan Haren available. The Angels eventually shipped Santana to the Royals.

Despite laying low last week, Cherington expressed optimism about the direction of the franchise’s pitching staff.

“We do believe we have better upper-level starting-pitching depth than we did a year ago,” Cherington said. “We want to make sure that continues to mature and we eventually get some of those guys in the rotation. We’d like to add someone for 2013.”

Have a question for Didier Morais? Send it to him via Twitter at @DidierMorais or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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