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

07.30.11 at 12:35 pm ET
By

Rich Harden

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.

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