With the clock set to pass midnight just four more times before Major League Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline, front office workers in every big league city will be logging late nights and long phone calls looking to make the acquisition that puts their team over the top.
With a suddenly struggling offense, the Red Sox are no exception.
The prospect of acquiring a heavy-hitting first baseman like Adrian Gonzalez, however, may be out of the picture.
ESPN.com reports that the Padres' asking price for Gonzalez might be too high. According to the report:
Even if the Padres were to receive an acceptable offer for Gonzalez, the second hurdle would be whether the San Diego ownership would approve the deal and risk angering the team's fan base even more, after an offseason in which the team slashed payroll, pursued a possible Jake Peavy trade and cut ties with the face of the franchise, reliever Trevor Hoffman.
Gonzalez, who has hit 25 homers for the Padres this year and has averaged 30 per year for the last three seasons, is due just $4.75 million next year, with a $5.5 million club option for 2011.
The Sox, however, still have their eyes open at other possibilities, with Red Sox chairman Tom Werner telling the Boston Globe that GM Theo Epstein is "burning the midnight oil" trying to work out an "impact" deal before Friday.
?I think we have a pretty good track record of making deals at the deadline that have some impact, but we?re not going to give away our best prospects,?? Werner told the Globe.
The Red Sox reportedly had scouts at Pittsburgh's game on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. That report says that relievers John Grabow and Matt Capps are drawing interest from around the league, while shortstop Jack Wilson could still be on the Sox' radar.
Meanwhile, the biggest name being thrown around before this year's deadline may not be moving after all. Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi told FoxSports.com that the chances of Roy Halladay being traded are "very slim."
"We've said that we would listen, but that we would have to be motivated and 'wowed,'" Ricciardi told FoxSports.com. "Right now we haven't been. I've said all along my gut tells me I won't be. I still stand by that."
Trying to forecast what Epstein and the Red Sox will do may be a meaningless endeavor by week's end. His biggest deals with the Sox were ones that very few people, if any, saw coming. With the clock ticking away, this year will likely be no different.