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Sources: Red Sox not trying to trade Jake Peavy before Monday’s start; roster move expected soon

06.27.14 at 6:01 pm ET
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NEW YORK — It’s a puzzling time for the Red Sox rotation.

With the return of Clay Buchholz on Wednesday, the team left the West Coast with seven pitchers for five spots, as Buchholz joined Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jake Peavy, Brandon Workman, Rubby De La Rosa and Felix Doubront on the 25-man roster. The Sox had held off on paring down the group, though they made a first move to do so on Friday, announcing that with left-hander Chris Capuano having been designated for assignment, Doubront would be moved into the bullpen.

That left six candidates, and ample grounds for speculation. Manager John Farrell offered the following rotation alignment starting for the Cubs series that will run from Monday through Wednesday.

“Right now, we’ll go with Jake Peavy on Monday, Clay Buchholz Tuesday and then we come back around to Brandon Workman right now on Wednesday,” said Farrell. “That puts Rubby in maybe a little bit of a different situation than we’ve discussed in the last couple days, but still nothing else to follow-up with Rubby’s situation as of right now.”

The natural conclusion, both given the qualifying phrase “and now” and the fact that a move with De La Rosa wasn’t being made immediately was to conclude that the Sox might be exploring a trade involving Peavy, keeping De La Rosa around to make the start in case a deal does go down.

According to multiple industry sources, however, the decision to keep De La Rosa on the roster was not related to an attempt to trade Peavy before his next start.

Instead, according to one of the sources, the Sox were keeping an extra starter around (specifically, De La Rosa — whom the team would like to afford more opportunities to start) while monitoring the physical status of the rotation. (Peavy, for instance, has been dealing with a minor hamstring issue.) According to that source, the physical issues that the Sox had been monitoring in the rotation have been progressively getting better; as a result, it appears likely that the team will make a move (unrelated to a Peavy trade) to restore the roster to five starters and to get a 13th position player on the roster in the near future, perhaps as soon as tomorrow.

The Sox appear likely to choose from either Mookie Betts or Ryan Roberts as candidates for a callup, given their need for right-handed bats. Betts, who will start in right field on Friday for the second straight game, is hitting .330 with a .422 OBP and .445 slugging mark after reaching base in all 22 games in which he’s played for Pawtucket. Roberts is hitting .284/.339/.449, with very strong numbers since the beginning of May.

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