Trade Talk: Pickin' pitchers

Sean Riley
Contributing Writer

Since the dawn of time one thing that has been consistent is the Red Sox always looking to add a starting pitcher by the trade deadline. Okay that might be a little dramatic but you get the point. Every year trade talks start and usually the first thing to come out is a starter the Sox are gunning for. This year may be no different. I would also suggest a closer who can do his job but manager John Farrell has been pretty adamant about sticking with closer Andrew Bailey. There are many solid starters that should be available come trade time, the question is what are the Sox going to be willing to give up and is it worth it?

Philadelphia's Cliff Lee has could be a top trade candidate this year and for good reason. The Phillie's won't be reluctant to part ways with the former ace seeing as he's due $25M a year thru the 2015 season. The 34 yr old has shown he can still bring it but for that price tag I'm not too sure, unless Philadelphia eats some of that contract I can't imagine a team having to give up too much to bring in Lee. He is a viable option but i'm not sure for Boston as Philadelphia will look to add young prospects, aka Xander Bogaerts, I don't think would be the right move there.

One of the few players the Miami Marlins didn't ship out last year was pitcher Ricky Nolasco, who most think will be suiting up for a new club by the deadline. Nolasco hasn't had a great start this season but neither have the Marlins. A change of scenery could do him good like it has to his former teammate Anibal Sanchez. At $11.5M a year Nolasco could be a much more manageable fit as an addition to Boston.

Bud Norris with the Houston Astros is a starter with great value that Boston an many other clubs will be jumping all over before the deadline. A measly $3M a year salary along with his skill set and you've got yourself some trade bait in Houston.

Pick a pitcher any pitcher in Toronto as the Blue Jays are at the bottom of the barrel in the AL East. Already rumors swirling about last year's Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey being possibly shopped around. Mark Buehrle is another Blue Jays pitcher who could be shipped out this season, not a typical year for Buehrle who hasn't been able to stay on a team.

Here are a few more notable pitchers who could be on the trading block for Boston to pursue: Matt Garza, Jake Peavy, Scott Feldman, Kevin Slowey, Joe Blanton.

It will be interesting to see what Boston's front office does in the coming months in regards to making a trade. Most of their farm system was wiped out when they traded for Adrian Gonzalez, although they were able to rebuild some of that when they made the trade with the Dodgers last year. Xander Bogaerts is the biggest prospect they have right now but it is highly unlikely to see him dealt away unless it was for a franchise player. Whatever they do I'd like to see Xander an Iglesias stay, Middlebrooks right now I could take him or leave him. But it's always easier to root for a homegrown Sox team than one you have to make moves for. Stay tuned while the MLB hot stove heats up over the next few weeks.