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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,

What you should know about new Red Sox infielder Mike Aviles

07.30.11 at 4:26 pm ET
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The Red Sox acquired infielder Mike Aviles Saturday for Yamaico Navarro and minor league pitcher Kendal Volz. Let’s take a closer look …

WHAT THE RED SOX GAVE UP: The 23-year-old Navarro was being used by the Red Sox as a super-utilityman, having played 11 games at third base, three in the outfield, and three more at shortstop. In his 16 games, Navarro was hitting.216, striking out nine times and walking three. He is projected more as a third baseman down the road, although his recent work in the outfield (playing exclusively in left field for the Sox) enhances his value somewhat. Volz is  ninth-round pick from the 2009 draft, having been moved into the bullpen for Single-A Salem this season. The right-hander was 2-3 with a 3.33 ERA, striking out 56 an walking 12 in 51 1/3 innings this season, while watching his fastball play up from 89 mph to 93 mph.

DOES AVILES HAVE OPTIONS?: Yes. The 30-year-old, who played in 35 games with Triple-A Omaha this season after beginning the year as the Royals’ starting third baseman on Opening Day (having most recently called-up on July 20), can be sent to the minors.

WHAT DOES AVILES BRING TO THE TABLE: The 2003 Division 3 Player of the Year (having hit .500 with 22 homers for Concordia College) has shown versatility and speed, both of which are of value to this current Red Sox roster. While he began the season as a third baseman — playing 24 games there for the Royals — he spent his time manning shortstop while in Omaha, playing 34 games there for the Triple-A club. In 301 major league games, he has played 144 games at shortstop, 135 at second, and 38 at third. Aviles is a legitimate pinch-running option off the bench (which the Red Sox are lacking), having stolen 10 bases this season in 12 attempts. In ’10, he swiped 14 in 19 chances. As one talent evaluator told WEEI.com’s Alex Speier, the infielder “has a good feel for the game.” The right-handed batter has also performed extremely well against lefty pitching this season, totaling .309 batting average (compared to a .185 clip vs. lefties).

WHERE COULD HE END UP: Spending some time in the outfield (even though Aviles has no experience at the position). Here is Red Sox manager Terry Francona after the deal was made: “Kind of a guy our organization I think our organization has kind of liked from afar for a while,” Francona said. “He came up, he was that guy that could really hit left-handers – actually both. His ability to play short, second, third, then he had the arm surgery, it kind of slowed him down, derailed him for a while. He can run, he can hit the ball out of the ballpark. How we would use him, I don’t know. Some of it is probably going to depend on Jed [Lowrie] because Jed’s probably not too far away. But he seems excited to be here. We’re happy to have him. At some point, I think we’d like to get him to the outfield just because I think we think he can do it. he hasn’t done that yet but we’ll see.”

WHAT AVILES MIGHT BE LACKING: The infielder hasn’t been a huge on-base guy of late, carrying just a .261 OBP in 53 games this season after finishing his 110 games in ’10 at .335. He has taken 3.54 pitches per plate appearance. Aviles hasn’t carried over the momentum from a ’10 campaign which saw him .304 with a .748 OPS in 110 games with the Royals in ’10, having been shipped to the minors twice this season. He has particular trouble against right-handed pitchers’ fastballs, hitting .181 against such offerings.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT AVILES: He was the Royals’ Minor League Player of the Year in 2007, with Aviles earning Player of the Year honors for the big club the following season, having been called up to be KC’s everyday shortstop on May 27, 2008. In that ’08 campaign — in which he finished fourth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting — Aviles hit .325 with .354 on-base percentage to go along with 10 homers while hitting in the Royals’ No. 2 spot. Aviles succumbed to Tommy John surgery in ’09. His uncle, Ramon Aviles, played for the Red Sox in 1977. Aviles signed for just a $1,000 signing bonus despite the fact the player taken immediately behind him in the ’03 draft signed for $138,500. He was available in the Rule 5 Draft following the 2007 season, in which he hit 17 Triple-A homers, with no team selecting him.

Red Sox acquire Mike Aviles for Yamaico Navarro, Kendal Volz

07.30.11 at 3:28 pm ET
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The Red Sox have acquired infielder Mike Aviles from the Royals in exchange for infielder Yamaico Navarro and right-hander Kendal Volz, the Royals announced (via twitter).

Aviles is hitting .222 with a .261 OBP, .395 slugging mark, .656 OPS and five homers in 53 games this year. He adds a baserunning element to the Sox, having swiped 10 bases in 12 attempts this year. Aviles was also delivering solid production against lefties, hitting .309/.344/.600/.944 with two homers in 62 plate appearances.

Navarro was hitting .216/.275/.351/.626 in 16 big league games this year, getting playing time at shortstop, third base and in left field. The 23-year-old has power potential, and had made strides in his plate approach while also showing the tools to play a good defensive third base (after being converted from shortstop). A talent evaluator recently suggested that he was ready to be an everyday third baseman for a second-division team in need of offense right now.

Volz, a ninth-round pick of the Sox who signed for $550,000 in 2009, had been moved into the bullpen this year with Hi-A Salem. The right-hander’s stuff played up in that role, as he went 2-3 with a 3.33 ERA while striking out 56 and walking 12 in 51 1/3 innings. His fastball, which was in the high-80s as a starter in Greenville in 2010, was in the low-90s but bumped 93 mph this year.

Read More: kendal volz, mike aviles, yamaico navarro,

Trade deadline: Red Sox reportedly after Carlos Quentin, Matt Thornton

07.30.11 at 1:40 pm ET
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The Red Sox are reportedly interested in bringing a couple White Sox aboard, as USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted Saturday that the Sox are “pushing hard” for outfielder Carlos Quentin and left-handed pitcher Matt Thornton.

According to the tweet from Nightengale, the White Sox would have to be “overwhelmed with prospects” in order for a deal to be consummated.

Quentin, 28, is hitting .261/.352/.507 with 20 homers and 62 RBIs. Thornton has a 3.28 ERA and 1.60 WHIP out of the bullpen for Chicago.

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline, Carlos Quentin, Matt Thornton,

Trade Deadline: Red Sox, A’s reportedly discussed deal for Rich Harden and Josh Willingham

07.30.11 at 12:35 pm ET
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According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via twitter), the Red Sox and Athletics had conversations about a deal that would send both pitcher Rich Harden and outfielder Josh Willingham to Boston. It was not clear what prospects the A’s were seeking in such a deal, and Olney noted that it was “unclear whether [the deal] has a pulse now.”

Harden has made five starts this year, all in July, going 2-1 with a 4.30 ERA, 30 strikeouts and 10 walks in 29 1/3 innings. He has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career, but when he is healthy, he has consistently produced excellent results, striking out more than a batter an inning. He worked for a number of years with current Sox pitching coach Curt Young while both were with Oakland.

Willingham is hitting .248 with a .334 OBP, .455 slugging mark and .790 OPS along with 15 homers while playing left field and DH-ing for the A’s. He has put up significant power numbers in 106 plate appearances against lefties this year, hitting .239/.340/.511/.850 with seven homers.

Both Harden and Willingham would be eligible for free agency after the season.

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline, josh willingham, Rich Harden,

Trade Deadline: Rockies reportedly want Red Sox minor leaguers Will Middlebrooks, Anthony Ranaudo for Ubaldo Jimenez

07.30.11 at 10:58 am ET
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Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez is scheduled to pitch Saturday night in San Diego, amid speculation that it could be his last start for Colorado.

According to a story in the Denver Post, the Tigers and Indians are the teams who were the most aggressive on Friday, with the Yankees and Red Sox still in the discussion. The report indicates the Rockies are holding firm in their request for two top prospects, one of whom must be a pitcher, plus a third player. For the Red Sox, that apparently means third baseman Will Middlebrooks and pitcher Anthony Ranaudo. (For a closer look at those two, as well as other potential Sox trade chips, click here.)

Jimenez acknowledged he’s aware of all the talk about his future.

“I am human,” he said. “Of course I think about it.”

Added Jimenez: “All I can do is wait. It’s out of my control.”

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline, ubaldo jimenez,
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