Don’t Expect Much
Last night, the Globe’s Peter Abraham blogged about how the Red Sox have extremely limited options when it comes to moving a player in order to free up salary to land a Roy Oswalt-type of starting pitcher.
As evidenced by last night’s rumblings, Marco Scutaro is a prime example of a guy that could be moved. The difficulty is replacing Scutaro’s stability at a difficult position. Realistically, Kevin Youkilis is the only other player that could be traded. He is set to make $12MM in 2012. The third baseman also has a $13MM team option for the following year. Will Middlebrooks, the Sox super prospect, is waiting in Pawtucket. He likely still needs some more seasoning before he is handed the full time job at the hot corner.
Abraham also cites Jacoby Ellsbury as an unlikely candidate to be moved, but a candidate nonetheless. A guy like Carl Crawford simply cannot be moved because his contract is too cumbersome for another team to assume. Complimentary players like Ryan Sweeney or Kelly Shoppach would not free up enough money to pursue Oswalt if the Red Sox could negotiate a trade for one of them.
Despite watching Jonathan Papelbon sign with the Phillies and Ben Cherington put together two thrifty trades, the Red Sox still have an extremely fiscally inflexible roster. At this point, I would be surprised if Cherington is able to find a deal that allows the Sox to add quality starting pitching.