As covered in my last post, Josh Beckett needs to go. With Texas the most likely destination, it’s conceivable that working for the Texas legend Nolan Ryan could bring out the best in the big righty. Perhaps going back to his Texas roots and being with some new teammates will help him find his mojo, which he has lost. A change of scenery has helped Youkillis so it could help Beckett. Two other top pitchers on the market are Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke. Beckett should be more attractive to Nolan Ryan because Hamels & Greinke are short term rentals and Josh Beckett has two more years remaining on his contract. This is all conjecture of course, but the Sox should be able to get at least one top prospect from the Rangers’ deep farm system and possibly more. With his veto rights, Beckett can make it harder for Boston to play one team against another in the trading war games.
If by some miracle Beckett gets traded, the situation for Sox GM Ben Cherington can become quite fluid and ironic. He can go from lusting after Cubs Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza to getting permission( from his old boss Theo Epstein about bringing them to Boston. These two Cubbies are the best available options from the top of the rotation pitchers currently on the market. Theo, would no doubt prefer to acquire Red Sox prospects he knows rather than other teams prospects. Dempster, would be as positive a clubhouse influence as Beckett has been negative. Dempster has recently recovered from a tight lat muscle injury, making his health a little questionable and less than solid for trading purposes. However, he just pitched 5 scoreless innings, so maybe health is not really an issue. Garza, on the other hand, is an innings horse with a mid 90′s fastball and a big breaking curveball. Although temperamental, he is not a guy to screw up the clubhouse. The kill shot would be for Cherington to get both pitchers. The Red Sox will have competition from other teams. Maybe going for a twofer gives them an edge. Can you see the chagrin on the face of the Yankees GM if his old nemesis get two top flight pitchers? This sight is reserved exclusively for Yankee haters.
A glove fit for the Red Sox but a total long shot is Jake Peavy. He is a top of the rotation bulldog who finally is healthy. He can provide the type of strong leadership that could inject some purpose into a seemingly disjointed clubhouse. His 2.85 ERA and .99 WHIP have only netted the White Sox 7 wins in 17 starts. In his last start he notched his first victory since May 26. The White Sox are not giving him any run support so maybe they could be talked into trading him. They might see swapping Peavy for another starter as worth doing if the pot is sweet enough. Perhaps Aaron Cook and a prospect might entice them. The rumor mill has the White Sox looking for a veteran reliever. For sure, Daniel Bard would get their attention. Lastly, King Felix Hernandez is another long shot to land. However, acquiring him would take more quality prospects than Cherington would even like to think about giving up. The Red Sox front office needs to get bold if they want to stay relevant. Only time will tell if they have the stomach to do this.