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My 1st Post

Red Sox Need Punch In The Lineup As Deadline Approaches
By: Jeremy Garden

This is the most exciting time of the year. Rumors run rapid. There are sellers and buyers to build your team for the future or today. Theo Epstein and the Red Sox have to make the crucial decisions to put the team in the playoffs for the 3rd consecutive year.

Everyone knows that pitching wins championships. The Red Sox certainly know that from experience. In 2004, Schilling and Martinez led the way. And again in 2007 Beckett and Schilling took them the distance. This team continues to have great pitching with both Beckett and Lester in the front of the rotation. But, everyone is calling in to sports radio to trade for Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay. If the Sox acquired Halladay they would have the best 1-2-3 in the game. But, the problem is it would take trading the farm to get him. The Jays GM J.P. Richardi has already said that the Yankees and Sox would have to overpay to get him.

Since the All-Star break the Sox lineup has been last or second to last in every offensive category. Granted their lineup isn’t this bad but it clearly has too many holes. Adding Adam Larouche gives the Sox a decent bat off the bench. And also provides some good depth to give Mike Lowell and David Ortiz a day off. However, if the Sox want to make a serious run in October they will need a power bat. Here are some available options that Sox could really use down the stretch:

C/1B/DH Victor Martinez: .286 AVG. 15 HRS 67 RBIS
The Tribe had high expectations this year and clearly going in the other direction. There have been reports that Indians would trade the talented catcher for Sox top prospect Clay Buchholz. It’s a high price to pay but would give the Sox flexibility to give Jason Varitek time off and cut down Mike Lowell’s playing time significantly. Not to mention a power hitting switch hitter in the middle of the lineup. Martinez is signed at an affordable 8 million next season.

LF/1B/DH Adam Dunn: .278 AVG. 25 HRS 73 RBIS
The Nationals are the worst team in baseball. And are looking to deal anyone but stud third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Adam Dunn is one of the best power hitters in the game. Plus, his on base percentage is always around .400 fitting the Red Sox offensive philosophy. The problem is that his defense is below average and the Sox would have to bench 14 million dollar right fielder JD Drew. Dunn is also signed for next year at 10 million dollars and would be a nice option to have if they can not re-sign Jason Bay.

1B Adrian Gonzalez: .249 AVG. 26 HRS 56 RBIS
The Padres have no reason to trade this slugger unless somebody overpays for him. Gonzalez is in his prime (27) and is signed at cheap dollars for two more years. There have been several rumors that the Sox are trying to hard to make a blockbuster deal with San Diego. He has tremendous power having 26 homers in a pitcher’s paradise and no protection is very impressive. The only question is how much the Sox would have to give up to get one the best young first baseman in baseball.

2B/SS/3B Marco Scutaro: .295 AVG. 8 HRS 46 RBIS
The Blue Jays are going to blow it up and trade anyone who is making decent money. Scutaro would give the Sox a solid bat at shortstop and has the ability to play second and third. This position has been a huge black hole since Theo has took over. Both Jed Lowrie and Nick Green have struggled this season and Scutaro would provide solid defense and good stick.

RF/CF Alex Rios: .263 AVG. 12 HRS 52 RBIS 18 SBS
The lack of production of JD Drew is why they could use an Alex Rios. Rios is not having a breakout year but still has superior numbers to Drew. Plus he adds speed on the base paths and can play anywhere in the outfield. The only problem with acquiring Rios signed a 6 year 69.8 million dollar contract in 2008. So if a trade was made they would be locked in until 2013.

After July 31st crunch time begins. The Sox know what they have now is the time to put some touches on it to make a run. They have the bullets to land a blockbuster deal. Landing a Victor Martinez or Adrian Gonzalez would give the team the boost to give the team a legit shot at a 2nd title in three years. But, this team values prospects and a lot of their talent is home grown. Maybe all they need is to make a minor move like a Marco Scutaro. Theo has been in this position before and has looked like a genius. At 4:10 on Friday we all have time to sit back and play Monday morning quarterback.

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