|08.01.10 at 6:41 pm ET|
WEEI.com’s John Vu captured some great images from the Red Sox second consecutive walk-off win on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park. The Red Sox took 2-of-3 from the Tigers and have won five-of-six. Click on the image to launch the slideshow.
|08.01.10 at 4:26 pm ET|
It could have been a dispiriting loss for the Red Sox. They were in complete control of their contest against the Tigers into the ninth inning, as Clay Buchholz seemed fully in control of a 3-0 lead. The only real question appeared to be whether he would get the third shutout of his career.
That plot line changed quickly, when Detroit pushed three runs across the plate with Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon on the mound. Yet instead of agonizing over the fate of their late blown lead, the Sox went to work quickly, as Marco Scutaro delivered a bunt single that scored the winning run when Tigers reliever Robbie Weinhardt fired it down the right field line. For the second straight game, the Sox enjoyed a walkoff victory, beating the Tigers, 4-3.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
–It had been almost a year since Tigers ace Justin Verlander and Red Sox hurler Clay Buchholz had gone toe-to-toe in a tremendous pitcher’s duel in a Fenway Park day game. Verlander had outdone his opponent that day, claiming a 2-0 victory last Aug. 13, but Buchholz had given a glimpse of his ability to nearly keep up with the game’s elite. He tossed seven innings, allowing just one earned run, and looked almost the equal of Verlander.
On Sunday, Buchholz gave further evidence that he is no longer working to catch up to the top pitchers in the game. Rather, he has joined them.
For most of the day, Buchholz was absolutely overpowering, featuring a 94-97 mph fastball that he complemented with a terrific slider, changeup and the occasional cutter. He delivered a noteworthy sign of his dominance in the first inning against Tigers superstar Miguel Cabrera. He threw a first-pitch, 94 mph fastball for a swing and miss, a 90 mph slider for another swing and miss and then, after spinning a curveball away, came back in with a 97 mph fastball that resulted in yet another swing and miss.
That pitch mix stayed with Buchholz for the day, leaving the Tigers thoroughly off balance until they chased him in the ninth inning on the strength of a bad-hop single and a walk. Though he took a no-decision, he gave up just three hits in improving his ERA to 2.68 ERA.
–The Sox had a tremendous approach in the early going against Tigers starter Justin Verlander, making him work in the strike zone, laying off of his off-speed pitches and driving his high-90s fastball up the middle and to the opposite field. On a day when the Tigers bullpen was severely depleted (Jose Valverde, Phil Coke and Ryan Perry were all unavailable), the Sox elevated the pitch count of the Detroit ace early, making him throw 74 pitches in the first three innings.
—Jed Lowrie continued to show that he is a different player from the one who was limited by injury starting in the final month of his rookie season. Batting left-handed (his weaker side), he lined a 96 mph Verlander fastball to left-center for an RBI single. He also had a walk and an infield single.
“He’s a good hitter. I think it’s kind of forgotten that a couple years ago he came up and kind of saved us. He played short, didn’t make any errors, drove in a bunch of runs,” manager Terry Francona said before the game. “Then he’s had a lot of things go wrong health-wise, but he seems to be getting back, which is good. We’re not to the point where we can play him every day. He’s just not ready to do that. But every other day he can help us.”
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
—Jonathan Papelbon came on in relief of Clay Buchholz following a dominating outing. The right-hander entered with a pair of runners on base and the Sox leading, 3-0, in the top of the ninth. But it took the Tigers just five pitches to tie the game against the Sox closer, as Miguel Cabrera jumped on a first-pitch fastball for a two-run double and, after a three-pitch strikeout by Brennan Boesch, Jhonny Peralta bounced a first-pitch single up the middle for the game-tying run. Papelbon has now allowed five of 10 inherited runners to score againt him.
–The Sox missed opportunities early in the game to blow the contest open. The team went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position, a struggle that has represented an ongoing theme for the team in recent days.
|08.01.10 at 3:21 pm ET|
Darnell McDonald was scratched from Sunday’s lineup with back stiffness but Red Sox manager Terry Francona said the team hopes to have him available later in the day as a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement.
In his place, Eric Patterson started in center for the Red Sox while Ryan Kalish, fresh from his 2-for-4 performance in his major league debut on Saturday, gets the start again in left field.
Elsewhere, Jacoby Ellsbury took another step on Saturday night toward a return to Boston when he went 2-for-4 and scored a run scored in his first game with Triple-A Pawtucket.
Ellsbury hit leadoff and played center field in a 5-1 loss to Durham. Asked if Ellsbury is as strong as he was before he suffering fractured ribs on April 11, Francona answered, “He probably isn’t as strong as he was in spring training. He came to camp in really good shape.
“We are trying to get the soreness out of his body in Triple-A, not here, so that is why he needs to keep playing a little bit,” added Francona.
In four games with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and Pawtucket, Ellsbury is hitting .333 with four runs, two walks and a stolen base.
Ellsbury played the outfield again Sunday and will continue playing with Pawtucket until he is at full strength.
“He is going to have general soreness from not playing,” Francona said. “We have to get him through that, and I think we would all rather do that in Pawtucket and not here.”
Francona gave props to Jed Lowrie for his game-changing at-bat in the ninth, pinch-hitting for Patterson. Lowrie fouled off several pitches before drilling a double to left-center and extending the eventual game-winning, three-run rally.
“His at-bat was tremendous,” Francona said. “I think it got overlooked a little bit because of what David did. That was a really nice piece of hitting.”
Lowrie batted .367 with four doubles, one homer and nine RBIs in 10 rehab games with Triple-A Pawtucket and Class A Lowell.
Francona said that Lowrie, who was activated from the disabled list July 21 after a three-month bout with mononucleosis, is getting stronger and stronger but still is not ready to play every day.
“He is a good hitter. I think it has become forgotten,” Francona said. “He has had a lot of things go wrong health-wise, but he seems to be getting back, which is good.”
|08.01.10 at 12:35 pm ET|
Following a ninth-inning rally on Saturday, the Red Sox look to capture the three-game series against the Tigers on Sunday.
Clay Buchholz will take his record of 11’5 and 2.71 ERA to the mound and face a talented Tigers offense. Miguel Cabrera has faced the righty eight times in career, but Ryan Raburn has had the most success against the Sox All-Star, having homered against him.
This start marks Buchholz’ third outing since the All-Star break and returning from the DL. In his last start, Buchholz defeated the Mariners on July 26 by striking out seven batters and allowing one run.
As for the Tigers, Justin Verlander gets the nod with a record of 12-6 and 3.74 ERA. Verlander, who ranks fifth in the AL in strikeouts with 130, will need to slow down David Ortiz, Victor Martinez and the rest of a Sox lineup that has hit well against the Tigers pitcher.
Tigers vs. Clay Buchholz
Miguel Cabrera (8 career plate appearances against Buchholz): .125 average/.222 OBP/ .125 slugging, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Gerald Laird (7): .143/. 250/. 143, 1 walk
Johnny Damon (5): .200/ .333/ .400, 1 double, 1 walk
Jhonny Peralta (4): .500/. 400/. 500, 3 RBI, 1 strikeout
Ryan Raburn (3): .667/. 667/ 1.667, 1 home run, 2 RBI
Brennan Boesch (3): .333/. 333/. 333, 1 RBI
Austin Jackson (2): .000/ .333/ .000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Ramon Santiago (1): .000/. 500/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Red Sox vs. Justin Verlander
Victor Martinez (43 career plate appearances against Verlander): .302 average/ .318 OBP/ .651 slugging, 3 doubles, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
Adrian Beltre (25): .240/. 240/. 440, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 6 strikeouts
Marco Scuatro (19): .211/ .250/ .368, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
David Ortiz (10): .300/ .417/ .700, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
Kevin Youkilis (10): .400/ .400/ 1.000, 2 HR, 3 RBI
J.D. Drew (6): .333/ .333/ .333, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts
Mike Cameron (2): .500/ .667/ .500, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Eric Patterson (1): .000/ .000/ .000, 1 strikeout
Bill Hall (0): .000/ 1.000/ .000, 3 walks
|08.01.10 at 12:07 pm ET|
The Mike Lowell drama continues at Fenway Park as Red Sox management and the veteran third baseman are in talks about his future with the team. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Sunday morning that he and general manager Theo Epstein were talking at length following Saturday’s game and were prepared to activate Lowell for today’s game but the team backed off as they try to determine the best course of action with the 2007 World Series MVP.
Francona said that while he was aware of the discussions, the decision on his future is above his head.
[Click here to hear what Francona had to say about Mike Lowell.]
“We were going to activate him,” Francona said. “There were some conversations that is probably up the food chain from me a little bit that needs to continue to happen. Mikey’s not active today. Those conversations I know will continue to happen but like I said, it’s up the food chain a little from me.”
Lowell has been on the disabled list since June 24 with a right hip strain.
The 36-year-old just finished a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket, batting .500 with four homers in 22 at-bats. The team tried unsuccessfully to deal him at the trade deadline. If Lowell and the team do not come to terms on his role in Boston for the last two months, he could be designated for assignment, allowing the team 10 days to trade him or releasing him to allow him to sign elsewhere.
|07.31.10 at 10:21 pm ET|
According to multiple major league sources, the Padres never contacted the Red Sox to discuss the availability of outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. In fact, according to one of those sources, no team contacted the Sox about Ellsbury, nor would the Sox have considered a deal for the 26-year-old barring what was characterized as a massive return.
Ellsbury, after playing three rehab games in the Gulf Coast League this week, played in his first rehab contest with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday. He went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles while playing center field. Ellsbury has played in just nine games this year, but is nearing a return to the Red Sox in his recovery from the broken ribs endured earlier this year.
“I can’t give you an exact timetable [for his return],” said GM Theo Epstein. “We want to make sure he’s ready to hit. Last time he came back, I think it took him a little while to get going with the bat and get his timing down. As much as we need him back here, we don’t want to rush him back here before he’s ready to hit. We’re going to be aggressive with it, day to day depending on how he feels and how ready he looks to come up and compete.”
|07.31.10 at 9:00 pm ET|
Following his team’s 5-4 victory over the Tigers on Saturday, Red Sox manager Terry Francona met with corner infielder Mike Lowell and general manager Theo Epstein to discuss the status of the 2007 World Series MVP.
Lowell has been on the disabled list since June 24 with a right hip strain. He recently concluded a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket in which he hit .500 with four homers in 22 at-bats. The Sox tried unsuccessfully to deal him at the trade deadline, but with no match to be had, the 36-year-old’s role on the club is murky. That said, Francona said that the team was not yet ready to announce a roster move involving Lowell.
“It’s certainly something that needs to be addressed,” said Francona. “We’ll probably talk about that a little bit more.”
|07.31.10 at 8:04 pm ET|
Talk about just what the doctor ordered. The Red Sox stood just two outs away from another disappointing loss and having all of Red Sox nation talking about the big moves the Yankees made and the Red Sox didn’t. Then David Ortiz happened for the second straight game.
Miguel Cabrera drilled a long two-run homer over the Green Monster off Daisuke Matsuzaka in the first as the Tigers raced out to a 2-0 lead and built a 4-0 advantage before the Red Sox rallied with two in the seventh and Ortiz’s 18th career walk-off hit in the ninth.
Two new additions to the Red Sox roster made contributions as Ryan Kalish started in left for Jeremy Hermida, who went from being the starting left field to being designated for assignment just prior to the game. And Dustin Richardson relieved Matsuzaka in the seventh inning, taking the spot of Ramon Ramirez, who was traded to San Francisco at the trading deadline.
Hideki Okajima pitched a perfect ninth to earn the win while former Yankee Phil Coke gave up the game-winning hit and took the loss. The Red Sox, who have won four-of-five, go for the series win on Sunday afternoon.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
— Mr. Clutch is back. David Ortiz, one day after delivering a ninth-inning grand slam to help the Red Sox nearly pull off a ninth-inning miracle, did it again with the bases loaded, driving a Coke pitch to the gap in left-center to score three runs and help the Red Sox come away with a much needed emotional win – and lift.
Just two innings earlier Ortiz struck out swinging with the bases loaded on a nasty two-seam fastball from Ryan Perry that ended the Red Sox threat and kept Boston down by two.
And there were two huge statistical numbers working against the Red Sox.
Ortiz entered the at-bat 0-for-8 with three strikeouts against the nasty lefty, who Ortiz acknowledged afterward, “makes a living against lefties.”
The Red Sox were just 1-36 this season when trailing entering the ninth inning. All of that changed after Ortiz laid off a nasty breaking ball on the third pitch he saw and worked the count to 2-1. One pitch later, he put a perfect inside-out swing on a fastball and drove it to the gap for the game-winner.
— Another smashing debut for a rookie outfielder. Like Daniel Nava, Kalish recorded a hit in his first major league at-bat. The Red Sox were looking for energy from another outfield prospect and Kalish delivered. He finished 2-for-4 and scored the second run – his first in the majors – in the seventh on Darnell McDonald’s double to left.
— Oki’s redemption – at least for one game. Hideki Okajima came out in mid-week and tried to explain why he didn’t talk about his implosion last Sunday in Seattle that cost the Red Sox the chance at a series win against the Mariners. On Saturday, he silenced the Tigers when the Red Sox needed him most, throwing a perfect ninth inning and earning his fourth win against three losses.
— Jed Lowrie and Darnell McDonald. Both had huge contributions in the clutch. McDonald went 2-for-4 with his two hits coming in his final at-bats. He doubled home Kalish in the seventh to make it, 4-2. He opened the rally in the ninth with a hustle infield single to deep short, beating the throw with a head-first slide. After Marco Scutaro flew out to left, Lowrie pinch-hit for Eric Patterson in the ninth and drilled a double to left-center to move McDonald to third.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
— Matsuzaka and his opening statement. The right-hander wouldn’t make a great criminal attorney the way he has trouble in making an opening argument. He allowed a one-out walk to Will Rhymes in the first and got Brennan Boesch to foul out to third before leaving a 1-0 pitch right over the heart of the plate for Cabrera, who crushed his 26th homer of the season over the Monster in left. 2-0 Tigers.
Matsuzaka allowed eight hits and four runs over six-plus innings but was saved from his fourth loss of the season when Ortiz bailed him out in the bottom of the ninth.
— No one in Fenway was more relieved to watch Ortiz’s ball find the gap in left-center than Bill Hall. He was thrown out on a very, very poor base-running decision to try and stretch a single to a double in the seventh, with none out. Instead of a huge rally, the Red Sox had to settle for a runner on third and one out, leading to just two runs and left skipper Terry Francona gnashing his teeth in the dugout.
|07.31.10 at 6:50 pm ET|
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said that, yes, there was a bit of an “empty feeling” after his front office had worked feverishly in hopes of achieving an upgrade prior to this trade deadline season, only to make two moves that added nothing to the major league club.
“In past years, we’ve been able to make trades that immediately impact our big league team and that’s a really satisfying feeling. Other years we haven’t been able to and come away with a bit of an empty feeling,” said Epstein. “Today is more the latter. It’s not the end of the story. We have August. We have a team that has the ability to get really hot as we get healthy and play our way right back to where we want to go. We have the ability to add in August as well and get contributions from our internal solutions.
“That’s not the whole story,” Epstein added, “but if you ask me are we frustrated that we weren’t able to help this team today, yeah, we are.”
The team also acquired a player who represents a potential project in Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a catcher with significant upside but who had fallen out of favor in the Rangers organization, resulting in a buy-low opportunity for a player whom the Sox had liked for some years. But while Epstein said Saltalamacchia could impact the Sox in the short-term, the greater likelihood is that his impact — if any — will be felt in future big league seasons.
Even so, Epstein made clear that the front office believes firmly that the Sox can get hot and reach the playoffs this year. The team will continue to explore the possibility of August reinforcements for a group that has the potential, according to Epstein, to turn on the jets down the home stretch.
“I want to be clear that we still think we have the ability to make the postseason,” said Epstein. “We have to get really hot. And as we get healthier we start to see the team on the field that can get really hot. We were healthy in April, and didn’t play up to our capabilities. That was a real frustration around here. Now that we’re getting healtier, we get our team back on the field, there’s a feeling in that clubhouse and in our front offie that we have the ability do what we didn’t do in April, and that’s run off a bunch of wins in a row. And that’s what it’s going to take to make up this ground. We still have a feeling that that has a good chance of happening. That’s why we’re going to continue to be aggressive looking for help in August.”
The team, which entered today trailing the Yankees by 7 1/2 games in the AL East and the Rays by 6 1/2 games in the wild card, was willing to sacrifice some of its better prospects (though perhaps not its top-tier minor leaguers) in pursuit of that goal. When they did not match up with other organizations on either outfielders or relievers, the Sox instead decided that they would pursue their upgrades internally.
Hence, the team made the decision to shift Felix Doubront to the bullpen for the rest of the season in hopes that he (along with Michael Bowden, who is eligible to be recalled on Aug. 2) can serve as part of the solution to an area of team weakness this year. Likewise, rather than paying a handsome premium for an oufielder, the Sox decided to turn to up-and-coming prospect Ryan Kalish in hopes of boosting both their outfield offense and defense.
Some of the points made by Epstein:
–The Sox do not yet have an announcement regarding Mike Lowell. Epstein hoped to sit down with the corner infielder following the game.
–The Sox thought they had made the sort of proposals to make a deal. The GM suggested that the club was aggressive in its offers in recent days.
“In the last couple days, we made aggressive proposals. We weren’t sure if we wanted to go all the way, and we did, and the other teams considered it, and in the end decided to hold on to their guy,” said Epstein. “We had three or four of those scenarios, where we thought that if we offered X, Y and Z, we’d definitely get this guy, and we didn’t. So we didn’t get that part of it done.”
–The Sox were aggressive in exploring the market for middle relievers, but the team was not going to part with some of the top prospects in its system to address that need and acquire a player who might contribute 20 innings or so. Unlike the 2009 deadline, when the Sox dangled elite prospects such as Clay Buchholz in return for players such as Adrian Gonzalez, Felix Hernandez and Roy Halladay, this year, the Sox weren’t as willing to part with elite prospects.
“If you look at the trade market in general, last year we were talking about guys who were 10-time All-Stars if not Hall of Fame type talent. And this year on the market, it was a different mix,” said Epstein. “We were talking more about middle relievers, and guys like this. That’s the nature of it. This year is not as talented. Are we going to give up our best or second best prospect for what might amount to a marginal upgrade? Probably not in any year. That doesn’t have to do with where we are in the standings.”
–Epstein said that the trade market did not match up well with the Sox’ needs. The top players moved were starting outfielders, and there were also first base/DH options to be had. The Sox required neither.
What the team did need was relievers, and once a pitcher like Washington closer Matt Capps was traded to the Twins for a highly regarded catching prospect such as Wilson Ramos, the bar was set at a place above which the Sox wanted to go in order to reinforce their ranks.
“[The trade market] was deep in starting pitchers, deep in bats, DH-type bats, pretty thin in relievers, pretty thin in outfielders. We were on the wrong end of that supply and demand dynamic this year, because we needed relievers and outfielders,” said Epstein. “If we wanted to be competitive in that market, we needed to pay high prices. I think we thought we were going to get something done, and we were disappointed in the end that we couldn’t.
“The teams that did trade their closers, per se, I think did really well. The prospects that they got back kind of set the market, that the other teams that had legitimate, impactful relievers, were going to not move them unless they got a similar type of impact back, and I think that’s why you see them not get moved.”
–As for the relief market behind the closers, Epstein noted that there were several relievers moved, but the Sox were focused on those who were elite, rather than on a buy-low pitcher who might be able to help down the road.
“A lot of relievers were moved. A lot of the guys we were in on were relievers who we felt would have been clear, obvious, definite upgrades for us, guys who would have come right into the mix and represented upgrades, guys we could have put in behind [Daniel] Bard and [Jonathan] Papelbon and helped this team immediately,” said Epstein. “We weren’t necessarily in the market just for a reclamation project or somebody that we sort of hoped would help us.”
–The team will remain aggressive in August. Though in order for the team to be convinced to invest significant resources in a trade during the waiver period, the club will need to get hot, something that Epstein believes it is capable of doing once healthy.
“I think we have the resources, both in prospects and dollars, to reach out in August, if appropriate, to help this team. Helping the 2010 team is definitely a goal for today,” said Epstein. “Along with doing some things for the future, the primary goal is helping the 2010 team, we weren’t able to do that, so that’s a disappointment, and something that remains a goal going into August, especially if we get off on the right foot, the way we expect to play in August. We need to have a big August to get where we want to go, if we do get off on the right foot, we can find the right player, certainly.”
–Epstein said that the team determined that Kalish represented as much of an outfield grade as whatever might be available on the trade market.
“We were looking to upgrade the trade market and when it was clear that wasn’t going to materialize, we decided rather than putting someone like a Ryan Kalish in a deal that we would regret some day, with the way his development is going, he’s ready for a trial here at the major league level,” said Epstein. “He brings a lot of energy, brings an advanced approach to the plate, brings a solid all-around game. Those are things that we could use right now.”
There is no set duration for Kalish’s first trial in the big leagues. But the team views him as a useful contributor for however long he will be up.
“Just trying to spark the team a little bit with a young guy that we feel that is just about ready and that way we won’t make trade we’ll regret. I think Ryan is as good as some of the guys we could have acquired in this outfield market,” said Epstein. “We’re not looking at him as a savior. He’s here because of the things he brings to the table, his overall game, his advanced approach at the plate, the energy and intensity that he plays with. … He’s a good baseball player.”
–The team does not have a timetable for the return of Jacoby Ellsbury.
“As much as we need him back here, we don’t want to rush him back here before he’s ready to hit,” said Epstein. “We’re going to be aggressive with it, day to day depending on how he feels and how ready he looks to come up and compete.”
–The team has long coveted Saltalamacchia, having pursued the switch-hitting catcher both when he was with the Braves and again after he went to the Rangers in the trade for Mark Teixeira. Saltalamacchia, once considered an elite prospect, has endured a number of struggles, but Epstein said that the Sox viewed this as a chance to buy low on a player with significant potential at a position of need.
“We’d scouted him heavily this year. He was obviously a guy we’d liked a lot in the past who came with a really heavy price tag in the past. He’s someone we hope we’re buying low on right now as he’s battling a few different issues,” said Epstein. “Obviously, he had the health issue where he had the surgery on the thoracic outlet syndrome this past winter. He had a difficult recovery from that. and then he battled some throwing issues earlier this year, but didn’t take time off, really battled through them.
“We had scouts in there very recently on him, actually right up until the deadline. He’s throwing the ball back to the pitcher fine, throwing to the bases pretty well. We feel like he’s a classic guy with a high ceiling who needs a change of scenery. He’d kind of been butting heads with the organization over there a little bit. He’s a guy we think we can work with to unleash that potential.”
–Epstein spoke enthusiastically about reliever Daniel Turpen, the 23-year-old reliever whom the Sox got from the Giants in exchange for Ramirez. Turpen throws from an “almost sidearm” low arm slot and has what Epstein called “the makings of three above-average pitches.”
“There’s a chance given service time and some other things that there might be some turnover in the pen and he’s someone who can be part of the solution looking ahead. Maybe not this year, but looking at our future bullpen,” said Epstein. “He’s a performer that comes from a difficult arm angle, keeps the ball on the ground and throws strikes. We like his demeanor and the three-pitch mix.”
Turpen has a 4.09 ERA in Double-A this year, and a 2.69 mark in his four pro seasons.
|07.31.10 at 6:15 pm ET|
The non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone and the Red Sox came away with some pieces that could help in the future in catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and pitcher Daniel Turpin. They also promoted outfield prospect Ryan Kalish, along with reliever Dustin Richardson, while also starting the process of integrating Felix Doubront into the bullpen.
There were a grouping of players, however, which the Sox felt like might immediately have an impact on the 2010 club which ended up being deemed not worth the investment.
A handful of potential late-inning relievers were in the Sox’ sights as the trade deadline’s final minutes ticked away, a group that included Seattle’s Brandon League, along with Scott Downs of Toronto and Kerry Wood of the Indians. What wasn’t available, despite reports, were the kind of closers who might have warranted giving up top prospects. Both Kansas City’s Joakim Soria (who had the Red Sox on his list of teams he would have to approve a trade to) and Florida’s Leo Nunez were for all intent and purposes unavailable.
As for outfielders, the Red Sox’ top priority was David DeJesus up until the news that the Kansas City outfielder was being forced to undergo season-ending surgery on his right thumb. Philadelphia’s Jayson Werth also was high on the Sox’ list, but approximately five days ago the Phillies decided they were going to hold on to the outfielder.
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