This week if you walked past Fenway you might have noticed a new sign poking out of the grass next to the Red Sox dugout reading, "Fire Sale Today".
Jake Peavy leaving to the Giants is but the start of the dump on players left over from the World Series run last year, that have failed to gel into anything solid by any stretch of the imagination this season.
Losing five of the last six games, the Red Sox will be doing well to finish anywhere but in last place in the AL East.
"Anything we do between now and Thursday afternoon will be with a mind toward building as quickly as possible toward April of 2015," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. "That might mean doing very little, it might mean doing a bunch of stuff, it might be in-between. We're listening. We're gathering information as we have been for the last month or so. As we get closer to the deadline it starts to become more clear to what teams are the most motivated to add in different areas."
Here are a few active pieces that could very well be gone by the trade deadline this coming week.
Reports are surfacing that the Pirates have been scouting the Red Sox bullpen arms for some help before the coming deadline, with Andrew Miller the big lefty having caught their attention.
Miller, a free agent after the year, is having a spectacular season in Boston's pen with 64 strikeouts and only 12 walks in 39 1/3 innings to go with a 2.52 ERA, his best in years. He is earning just $1.9MM this year and will hit the open market following the end of this season.
The Red Sox have not had discussions with Miller about an extension, the pitcher said this week. "That only happens when fans are clamoring for a guy, like Jon Lester," he said with a smile.
#RedSox are shopping lefty Andrew Miller. #pirates are interested, have been scouting sox for couple of weeks.
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) July 27, 2014
They might have to fight it out with the Braves as they are scouting hard for a lefty to shore up their bullpen and have stated their prime target will be Miller coming up to the trade deadline.
Color this lefty off to the mid-west pennant races.
Saturday we got news that Mike Carp had requested a trade due to lack of playing time in his current role. He put in the request at the break and John Farrell confirmed that there have been discussions between him and Carp about his playing time.
"I'm not trying to single out poor me. It's been that way for a lot of guys. But in the role that I'm in, it's very tough to even try to compete," Carp told reporters in St. Petersburg before Saturday's game. "You're playing once every 10 days, once every week. I'm going to start (Sunday in Tampa Bay). It's been a complete week (since I've started), facing a pretty good pitcher. It's tough. It feels almost as if sometimes you're getting set up for failure."
Mike Carp, a valuable bench player for the #RedSox last season, has requested a trade. Spoke to the team after the break.
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) July 26, 2014
Carp, who was excellent as a bench player last season for Boston, has only had 95 plate appearances on the season and is hitting .215/.337/.304. The 28-year old can play first base and the corner outfield positions, meaning that he will likely draw strong interest from teams looking to add a versatile bat at the deadline.
No news yet on interest by specific teams, but maybe there is a Gettysburg reenactment troupe out there interested?
There has been lots of noise around this chip in the Red Sox pot. Since talks died after a Red Sox spring training offer of $70MM dollars for four years, there have been reports going back and forth, on and off again negotiations, rumors, and finally this week a report that talks have been shelved until after this season.
This came on the heels of reports that the Dodgers who have been looking at starting pitcher David Price, also have had discussions with the Red Sox regarding Lester. So far these talks have not progressed very far, but the Dodgers have the prospect depth to maybe swing another blockbuster trade with the Red Sox reminiscent of the 2012 trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett out west.
To look at it differently, the Red Sox can not afford to lose Jon Lester like the Yankees lost Robinson Cano puts forth Joel Sherman of the NY Post. Either you sign him, trade him before the coming deadline, or he could walk on a deal that leaves the Red Sox with nothing to show for it.
This is one to watch closely as the deadline looms.
This guy has all but put the nail in his coffin last week by making comments in the press about how much it sucks to be in the bullpen instead of a starter.
"I'm doing my work and trying to stay sharp. My mind is positive but this sucks," Doubront said. "I just want to pitch. If it's here or somewhere else, I just want to pitch. I need an opportunity if it's another team or this team."
While all but demanded a trade to a team that will use him in the role he prefers — starting, not relieving, he had a 5.19 ERA in his 10 starts this season. Last year he had a 3.87 ERA in 27 starts, so it appears his true talent level is probably somewhere in the middle.
Watch for this problem to be dealt to another organization.
Word on the street is that the Royals have followed Jonny Gomes all week as they seek a right-handed bat to add to their lineup.
Gomes will be a free agent at the end of this season has been pretty good at the plate with a very impressive slash line of .312/.409/.450/.859 against left-handers, not to mention an impressive track record of playing for playoff teams in St. Petersburg (the Rays), Cincinnati, Oakland and Boston.
Let's not forget that World Series commemorative tattoo.
Eric is a contributing writer since 2013 and a true Overseas Fan of the Boston Red Sox living in the Netherlands. He's spent years on baseball fields around the world pitching. His weekends are now spent helping the next generations of pitchers to find their passion and love for the sport. More articles by Eric: https://www.redsoxlife.com/search/label/ericschabell