Matt Garza Could Be Realistic Option for Red Sox, Especially Given History in AL East


Matt Garza Could Be Realistic Option for Red Sox, Especially Given History in AL EastBOSTON –– The Red Sox have been rejuvenated by the returns of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford.

Both speedsters have struck fear into opposing pitcher's hearts with their ability to swipe bases. Buoyed by their hitting and base running, Boston has won three of the four games they've played with Ellsbury and Crawford at the top of the lineup.

As the pair continues to develop chemistry, let's take a look at this week's mailbag.

Do you think Crawford should just take the year off it doesn't make much since to go out on the field and throw your elbow out just to try to show us fans that you are what you were when you were in Tampa. I would rather see him at 100 percent what do you think??
— Doug, Lincoln, R.I.

Despite Crawford's early success through three games, it's still a gamble, mostly when it comes to throwing in the outfield. From the beginning, Crawford has said the elbow never bothers him at the plate.

Since Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has played Crawford in the outfield –– despite the vacancy at DH –– over the past two days, it seems to back up the idea that Crawford's elbow can hold up without issue.

Plus, Crawford isn't the first player to battle through a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. When Albert Pujols was an outfielder in 2003, he managed to avoid surgery by flipping the ball lightly.

Crawford has to abide by the same plan. If he attempts to fire bullets from the outfield, he'd be asking for trouble. If he sticks to the conservative route, he'd put himself in good shape for the foreseeable future.

Will the Red Sox go make a move for pitchers?
— Juan Duran, Bronx, N.Y.

I think they'll inquire about the starting pitchers that are available on the market. Earlier this week, Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure told me that –– if the front office asked –– he'd offer a recommendation for his former mentee Zack Greinke.

But the Brewers are still working to ink Greinke to an extension. As a result, I believe Cubs pitcher Matt Garza would be a more realistic option, especially since Chicago is trying to sell and rebuild.

The competition in the AL East is nothing new to Garza, considering he flourished as a starter for the Rays from 2008 to 2010. The Cubs are also reportedly interested in Red Sox outfielder Ryan Sweeney, which could improve the odds.

Why the move of Franklin Morales to the 'pen? He's been a reliable starter for the Red Sox as of late.
— @Milbury1975, via Twitter

It comes down to the fact that Franklin Morales is a left-hander pitcher. With Rich Hill shelved on the disabled list, the Red Sox have only had one southpaw available in relief –– Andrew Miller.

With Morales in the bullpen mix, it offers Valentine two lefty specialists. Valentine also said that the reason he moved the 26-year-old –– as opposed to Jon Lester –– is that Lester had no experience coming out of the bullpen.

At this point in his career, Morales is young and talented enough to make the transition to and from starting. And I honestly believe in the future, he'll end up fulfilling the organization's initial vision for Daniel Bard by becoming a starter.

Would the Sox ever eat some of Dice-K contract and trade him, or even dump him?
— @BartlettCR, via Twitter

Daisuke Matsuzaka is currently in the last year of his six-year contract. Since he's currently on the disabled list with neck stiffness, there's essentially no chance another organization would be interested in acquiring the 31-year-old by the trade deadline.

Maybe he'd be a candidate for a waiver wire deal, but he'd have to return relatively soon and prove he's healthy first. Remember the neck pain has been a nagging issue for the hurler.

In my opinion, I think both parties will complete their contractual obligations for this season. Then, once the contract expires, I wouldn't be surprised if the Red Sox officially parted ways with Matsuzaka.

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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