It's that time of year. The trade market is ramping up, and with it comes more talk about the key prospects at the higher level of every team's system. After all, in order to land that star player, a team has to market its own pieces to make the blockbuster deal work.
The Red Sox have been tied to their share of big names as the clock ticks closer to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Carlos Beltran and Jeff Francoeur have dominated the conversation for the past week, and on Saturday right-handed pitcher Hiroki Kuroda's name emerged in connection with the Red Sox.
Teams seldom get good players without giving up good players, though. (The Heathcliff Slocumb for Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek, and the Carlos Pavano and Tony Armas for Pedro Martinez deals notwithstanding.) That may help explain why PawSox sluggers Ryan Lavarnway and Lars Anderson have started gaining attention at Triple-A.
Even if the Sox don't land an All-Star by July 31, that doesn't mean they'll stand pat the rest of the way. Lavarnway, Anderson, a healthy Ryan Kalish and others could contribute for the Red Sox in August, September and beyond.
Keep in mind, too, that teams can still make trades after July 31 as long as the players involved clear waivers first. That could bring in an impact player at a discount price.
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