The past few weeks have been quite a time for baseball, as the dozen or so teams in contention for playoff berths across the American League and National League have been swapping players to gear up for the rest of the season.
Now, with the trade deadline just hours away (Tuesday at 4 p.m.), teams that are looking to find help will have to move quickly.
The Red Sox are among the clubs that have said they want to add whatever pieces are needed to get to the postseason, even if plenty of teams stand in their way. After taking two games from the Yankees this weekend in a couple of passionate performances, they may finally have the fire to match their high expectations.
But several of the players who would make sense for the Red Sox are already off the market. Anibal Sanchez has been signed by the Tigers, Zack Greinke is unpacking in Los Angeles for the Angels, Hanley Ramirez is wearing Dodger blue and Ryan Dempster is most likely making his way out of Chicago.
That leaves Matt Garza and Josh Johnson as the only big-name pitchers likely for Boston, although Johnson’s asking price is reportedly as high as they come. Rafael Betancourt‘s name also surfaced Monday as a possible target.
The Red Sox aren’t just looking for help, of course. They may try to shed an extra outfielder or two now that Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford are back, with Cody Ross, Daniel Nava and Ryan Sweeney rotating through the final spot. And rumors abound that Josh Beckett is on his way out of Beantown, although Red Sox management has said that is not the case.
The clock is ticking — will the Red Sox make a big trade?