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Trade Deadline: Cardinals to acquire Rafael Furcal

07.30.11 at 11:05 pm ET
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According to multiple reports, the Cardinals are on the verge of acquiring shortstop Rafael Furcal for a minor league outfielder and cash. The deal could not be completed until Furcal waived his 10-5 rights (10 years in the major leagues, five years with the same team), which allows a player the right to veto any trade. According to a tweet from SI.com’s Jon Heyman,

Furcal has accepted the trade to St. Louis. The 33-year-old Furcal was hitting just .197 in 37 games, and is in the final year of his contract (although there is a club option for $12 million for ’12).

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline,

Sunday’s Red Sox-White Sox matchups: Andrew Miller vs. Mark Buehrle

07.30.11 at 10:32 pm ET
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Andrew Miller had his second rough outing in three starts Tuesday, allowing seven runs (five earned) on a season-high nine hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. He walked two batters and allowed a pair of home runs. Miller (4-1, 5.45) lasted just 2 2/3 innings in Tampa Bay July 15, allowing seven runs on five hits. His poor performance as of late is one of the reasons Boston was so actively pursuing starting pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez and Hiroki Kuroda as the trade deadline approaches. Miller will look to get back on track Sunday as the Red Sox take on Mark Buehrle and the White Sox.

Buehrle (8-3, 3.22) has been the epitome of consistency this season. A six-inning performance Monday in which he did not allow an earned run, the hefty left-hander marked his 15th consecutive outing in which he surrendered no more than three earned runs. Buehrle has lasted at least six frames in all, but one of those starts. He’ll face a challenge in extending those streaks, as current Red Sox batters have hit Buehrle pretty well in their careers.

David Ortiz has arguably the best numbers against the Chicago starter of any Red Sox batter. Big Papi brings a .339 batting average, two home runs, nine double and 11 RBIs in 59 at-bats. Saying that, Jason Varitek, Carl Crawford, Marco ScutaroDustin Pedroia, Darnell McDonald and Jacoby Ellsbury all enter the game with higher batting averages than Ortiz. All of those hitters listed above, excluding McDonald have at least two extra-base hits against Buehrle as well. Mike Aviles, who may be making his Red sox debut, has two doubles and three RBIs in 31 career at-bats against the 12-year veteran.

White Sox batters have very little experience against Miller. Veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who hit a two-run home run in Friday’s game, is 2-for-4 with a double against the sixth-year hurler. Speedy outfielder Juan Pierre enters the game 2-for-3 with a triple. Miller’s biggest foe, however, will likely be himself, as he has walked 17 batters in the last four games, while striking out only four.

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Read More: andrew miller, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, mark buehrle

Closing Time: Red Sox snap eight-game losing streak to White Sox, win 10-2

07.30.11 at 10:13 pm ET
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After losing eight straight games to the White Sox, the Red Sox finally were able put an end to that streak Saturday night as they won in Chicago, 10-2. Before Saturday’s game, the Red Sox had lost 11 of their last 12 and 14 of their last 16 to the White Sox, dating back to August of 2009.

After two hits and no runs through the first four innings, the Red Sox were able to get to White Sox starter Philip Humber (8-7) in the fifth when they erupted for four runs and chased him from the game.

That would be all the offense Red Sox starter Jon Lester (11-4) needed, as he went eight innings and looked to be back to his dominant self in his second start since returning from the disabled list because of a left latissimus strain. It was his first victory in exactly a month, since June 30 vs. the Phillies.

The Red Sox also added five runs in the top of the ninth inning to end any hope the White Sox had of coming back.

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the 65th win of the year for the Red Sox:


‘€¢ The victory for Lester brought his record to 3-3 all-time against the White Sox. He had a 5.94 career ERA against Chicago entering the game. Lester went eight innings, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out eight. Lester’s eight strikeouts tied for the his third most in a game this season. He has done that on four other occasions. Lester entered Saturday fourth in the AL in strikeouts per nine innings, averaging 8.7 per game.

‘€¢ Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s double in the fourth inning extended his season-long hit streak to eight games, and he has now reached base in 30 of his last 32 games overall. He has three home runs and 10 RBIs during the eight-game stretch. His solo home run Friday night was the only run the Red Sox scored in the 3-1 loss to the White Sox.

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Read More: adrian gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester,

Red Sox land Rich Harden for Lars Anderson, player to be named

07.30.11 at 10:02 pm ET
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CHICAGO — One by one, the dominoes started to fall.

On Friday, Erik Bedard had a terrible outing in his return from a knee sprain, retiring just four of the 11 batters he faced.

On Saturday, Hiroki Kuroda informed the Dodgers that he would not waive his no-trade clause, thus taking him off the market.

Also on Saturday night, reports had the Rockies and Indians closing in on a deal that would send starter Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland in exchange for prospects (a package headlined by left-hander Drew Pomeranz and also including right-hander Alex White), even as Jimenez — somewhat shockingly — took the mound for the Rockies against the Padres.

The group of desirable starters on the market dwindled rapidly, to the point where the Red Sox were left with few places to turn if they did indeed want to acquire an upgrade for their rotation — a matter that has become a somewhat pressing concern in recent days amidst the growing concern about the health of Clay Buchholz, out since mid-June due to a back injury, going forward.

And so, the Sox did not remain passive. Instead, as the Red Sox played the White Sox on Saturday night, the Boston front office was moving to acquire the best option remaining on the market in landing Athletics right-hander Rich Harden.

Harden has dealt with numerous injuries through his career that have limited to an average of 97 frames per season from 2005-10, a pattern that continued with a muscle strain under his right arm that kept him out for the first three months of this year. But when he is on the mound, he features legitimate top-of-the-rotation stuff. He has struck out more than a batter an inning throughout his career, including this year, when in five July starts he went 2-1 with a 4.30 ERA, 30 strikeouts and 10 walks in 29 1/3 innings. If indeed power pitching is at a premium in October, then Harden would represent the prototype option of the sort of pitcher whom teams like to feature in their rotation (albeit one who is 1-3 with a 6.35 ERA in four postseason games).

In exchange for Harden, a major league source confirmed, the Red Sox sent first baseman Lars Anderson to the Athletics as part of a package that will also include a player to be named. Once the top prospect in the Red Sox farm system, Anderson has seen his stock drop in recent years as questions arose about whether his power did not develop.

This year, with Triple-A Pawtucket, Anderson was hitting .261 with a .362 OBP, .420 slugging mark and .782 OPS, along with 10 homers. However, he has recently experienced something of a power surge, hitting .296/.367/.571/.938 with six homers in July. And at the age of 23, Anderson’s advanced approach at the plate suggests that if he does develop power, he could be a fine option as a big league starting first baseman.

That opportunity was unlikely to come in Boston, however, given the deal that landed Adrian Gonzalez with the Red Sox during the offseason followed by the seven-year extension that will keep him in Boston through 2018. And with Anderson’s offense insufficient — at least right now — to forge a role as an everyday major league DH, he became a chip with whom the Sox could part.

While getting traded can prove shocking, for Anderson, the deal represents a homecoming. He hails from the Bay Area, having attended Jesuit High School in Sacramento. An 18th-rounder in the 2006 draft, Anderson actually was convinced to sign with the Sox in no small part due to his experience during a workout at the Athletics’ home ballpark in 2006.

Harden would appear to represent a rental player, since he is eligible for free agency after the season and he is unlikely to qualify for either Type A or Type B free-agent status, which would entitle the Sox to draft pick compensation if he turned down a potential Sox offer of salary arbitration.

Nonetheless, given the shape of the 2011 club — which harbors significant October ambitions — and the fact that Anderson did not represent a cornerstone prospect, it was a move that the Sox were willing to make.

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline, lars anderson, Rich Harden,

Trade Deadline: Rays likely to stay put

07.30.11 at 9:40 pm ET
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The Red Sox have acquired Royals middle infielder Mike Aviles and are looking into starting pitching options along with the Yankees. American League East rival Tampa Bay, however, has been quiet in the days leading up to the trade deadline.

Rays manager Joe Maddon doesn’t expect any roster changes, according to a tweet from Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. Center fielder B.J. Upton has been the subject of many trade rumors, but he is playing in Saturday’s game against the Mariners.

Tampa Bay enters Saturday’s action trailing the division-leading Red Sox by 9½ games and the second-place Yankees by 7½ games.

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline, B.J. Upton, tampa bay rays,

Trade deadline: Rich Harden to Red Sox?

07.30.11 at 9:40 pm ET
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According to a tweet from ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Red Sox are close to trading for Oakland starter Rich Harden.

The 29-year-old has a 4.30 ERA this season, the ninth of a career that has been slowed by injuries. He has had sub-3.00 ERAs in three different seasons, though he has never reached 200 innings in a single season. Harden has made five starts for Oakland this season, the most recent of which had him giving up two earned runs over six innings. He is 2-1 on the season.

According to MLB.com’s Ian Browne, Pawtucket first baseman Lars Anderson is involved in the deal.

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline, Rich Harden,

Trade Deadline: Ubaldo Jimenez reportedly close to being traded Indians

07.30.11 at 7:25 pm ET
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According to a tweet from Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Indians are in “serious talks” with the Rockies regarding a deal that would send pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland in exchange for pitching prospect Drew Pomeranz, pitcher Alex White and second base prospect Jason Kipnis. Renck notes that the Indians’ push is “not just talk” and “has a real chance of happening.”

Renck suggested that Jimenez “could be scratched any minute” from his start Saturday against the Padres, with the New York Post’s Joel Sherman later tweeting that the pitcher was indeed scratched, though Jimenez ended up starting the game. He allowed four earned runs in the first and was hugged by teammates in the dugout after the inning, with Renck reporting that right-hander Joe Gardner was also going to Colorado in the trade.

The Red Sox and Yankees were among other teams to reportedly have an interest in Jimenez, who is 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA this season.

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline, ubaldo jimenez,

Hiroki Kuroda staying with Dodgers; Red Sox playing waiting game on other pitchers

07.30.11 at 6:43 pm ET
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With less than 24 hours to the deadline for non-waiver trades, there is no clear-cut favorite among the starting pitching targets whom the Red Sox are exploring.

According to a major league source, as of Saturday evening, the Red Sox remained engaged in conversations about Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez, A’s starter Rich Harden and Mariners left-hander Erik Bedard, but they weren’t closer to a deal for any one of those pitchers than the others. The team was still waiting to see how the market for each pitcher evolves as Sunday’s 4 p.m. deadline draws closer. (Update: A Red Sox trade for Harden fell apart due to medical issues.)

The Dodgers confirmed that another potential Red Sox target, Hiroki Kuroda, will not waive his no-trade clause, and will stay with L.A.

Jimenez was scheduled to pitch Saturday night, but he was scratched as the Rockies reportedly were advancing talks with the Indians on a deal. (UPDATE: The Rockies and Indians reportedly have all but finalized a deal that would send Jimenez to Cleveland for minor league pitchers Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, both of whom are regarded as top 50 prospects.) Harden last took the mound Thursday, giving up two runs over six innings. Bedard pitched for the first time since June 27 Friday night, lasting just 1 1/3 innings, giving up five runs while walking four and striking out two.

As for which players it would have taken for the Red Sox to acquire Hunter Pence, who was dealt to the Phillies for three minor-leaguers Friday night, the Astros were looking for a package that included outfielder Josh Reddick and pitcher Kyle Weiland.

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline, Erik Bedard, Hiroki Kuroda, Hunter Pence

Trade Deadline: Rangers get Koji Uehara from Orioles

07.30.11 at 5:49 pm ET
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According to the Baltimore Sun, the Rangers have acquired reliever Koji Uehara from the Orioles in exchange for infielder Chris Davis and pitcher Tommy Hunter.

SI’s Jon Heyman is reporting that the Rangers will get $2 million from the Orioles in the deal as well to make up for Uehara’s salary.

The 36-year-old Uehara has a 1.72 ERA and 0.70 WHIP in 47 innings of work this season. Davis has 24 homers in the minors this season to go with a .368 average. He has hit .250 in 77 major league plate appearances. Hunter has a 2.93 ERA in eight major league games this season. The Indianapolis native was a supplemental first-round pick in the 2007 draft.

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline, Koji Uehara, Tommy Hunter,

Red Sox sign third-round pick Jordan Weems, 30th-rounder Nick Moore

07.30.11 at 5:18 pm ET
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CHICAGO — The Red Sox announced that they have signed third-round pick Jordan Weems. Weems played at Columbus High School in Georgia, hitting .443 with a .534 OBP and .738 slugging mark en route to a state championship. Weems’€™ father (Rick Weems, 15th round, 1980) and brother (Chase Weems, 6th round, 2007) were also pro baseball players.

Weems is viewed as a player with a good, loose swing, and a tall, lean 6-foot-3 frame who has shown good aptitude as a catcher. It is possible that he could outgrow the position, but for now, he is athletic and features decent power, with some interesting upside.

According to a baseball source, Weems signed for more than the slot recommendation of $274,500 in order to pass on his scholarship offer to play at Georgia State, but less than double the slot amount.

The Sox also signed 30th round pick Nick Moore, a third baseman who also played high school ball in Georgia. He was an impact defensive player at a prominent high school football program (for whom he served as a ball boy growing up), ranking among the national leaders in interceptions. But he recognized that his future was in baseball early, according to this profile. He had a commitment to play at Kennesaw State University. He’€™s considered to be athletic with intriguing raw power.

Read More: 2011 MLB Draft, jordan weems, nick moore,
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