Possible in-season trade targets for BoSox

One reason why many clubs are shying away from doling out big-money free agent extensions (besides the economy, of course) is the potential to land gamechanging hitter at more favorable prices in-season from teams that experience a budget crunch. The Milwaukee Brewers are doing this; so are the Red Sox.

Let's take a look at what players could become available to the Sox as the season goes on...

One reason why many clubs are shying away from doling out big-money free agent extensions (besides the economy, of course) is the potential to land a game-changing hitter at more favorable prices in-season from teams that experience a budget crunch. The Milwaukee Brewers are doing this; so are the Red Sox.

Let’s take a look at what players could become available to the Sox as the season goes on…


The Athletics, long thought to be cellar-dwelling money despots, brought in Matt Holliday from Colorado as they aim for an AL West title. If their chances are slim at the trading deadline or they face a budgetary crisis, Holliday will become available.

TOP COMPETITION: The Yankees would love to add Holliday (and likely will next free agent period) with Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon’s years in New York coming to a close.


The Cleveland Indians are going to go into the season with a Martinez/Kelly Shoppach tandem behind the plate with Martinez also getting plenty of at-bats at first base and DH. Martinez has a $7 million club option for 2010, but the Indians may be forced to move him sooner. It helps that they have stud catcher Carlos Santana in the minors.

TOP COMPETITION: New York Mets. Brian Schneider is a temporary arrangement only, and I’m sure the club would enjoy adding Martinez’s bat to the team. Martinez could also end up their first baseman, if Carlos Delgado flops again.


Wilson has been linked to the Sox before, and should Lugo and Lowrie not provide enough offense/defense at short (it could happen, don’t rule it out), the Sox would take a look at Wilson, who has a $8.4 million club option for 2010, unlikely to be picked up by anyone, but Wilson would serve as a nice stopgap. Other possibles: SS Bobby Crosby (OAK).

TOP COMPETITION: I can’t imagine anyone else falling overthemselves to get Jack Wilson; Wilson’s market will be dictated by attrition and/or injury.


Ankiel will become a free agent after the season and should cash in on an impressive payday, coming all the way back from imploding as a talented pitcher. As a Scott Boras client, the Cardinals must be pretty scared about what Ankiel could ask for in what is looking like a poor outfield class. If Jacoby Ellsbury doesn’t turn it around, could Ankiel be en route to Boston? Also possibly available: CF Mike Cameron (MIL)

TOP COMPETITION: Yankees again.


The Red Sox have lately made a practice of deepening their bench for the playoff run in July/August by snatching people up around that time. Eric Hinske and Mark Kotsay spring to mind. Could Huff? With the Orioles likely to finish in the basement, the Sox may want to bring in a legitimate bopper to serve off the bench the last couple months.

TOP COMPETITION: Any other team who would need Huff to start.

These are just a few of the impending free agents in 2010; I did not look at the impending 2011 free agent class which will also have an impact on the trade market this year, as teams will trade more to get an additional year of a player. That said, I would be surprised if one of the above wasn’t on a new team in August.

Categories: Aubrey Huff Jack Wilson Matt Holliday Rick Ankiel Victor Martinez

Born on the 37th anniversary of the the day Babe Ruth died (1985) which later became the day Jimy Williams was fired in 2001 (a monumental event at the time), Evan was too young to experience the pain 1986 brought, but a deep wound was sowed in 2003. Since then, Fire Brand has become a blog that Red Sox “club officials read,” as per Peter Gammons. Evan enjoys working out, writing, reading, quality television, science fiction and history and being newly married. He is a professional baseball journalist as well as president of a state non-profit and member of the Board of Directors for a national profit. (Twitter.)

37 Responses to “Possible in-season trade targets for BoSox” Subscribe

  1. SLAMMcD February 9, 2009 at 6:52 AM #

    Although they are never "sellers" at the trading deadline,Houston always seems to come to mind when talking about exchanging expensive veterans (Oswalt, Bergman, Lee, Erstad) for young a young arm that the Sox have to offer (Bucholtz, Bowden,Delcarmen)

  2. Gerry February 9, 2009 at 7:49 AM #

    Good analysis of some Theo options. We are all curious to see how such a talented and deep Sox team may need to be shored up in a few months. Players like Kielty were great but short lived. Players like Kotsay may or may not be here for years. Players like Holliday are to sign as long as feasible; though that OF of Bay, Ellsbury, Drew, Baldelli, Kotsay, Reddick is already amazing, at least in potential.
    If Holliday comes up it will be, as you say, because the A's aren't competing this year, which means Billy B will be looking for top younger prospects to fill future holes . . . which would protect those emerging in 2009 like Buchholz, Bowden, Anderson, etc.
    Your logic seems right that Cleveland would hold onto Kelly Shoppach, who they just paid, while unloading the Martinez contract. Martinez could segue with Tek while giving Sox catching prospects time to mature. That's another good approach.

  3. Joe February 9, 2009 at 9:23 AM #

    slammcd, Houston will probably be 7 games out of a playoff spot and end up trading anything that they have under age 25 for anything over age 33. :)

  4. Sean O February 9, 2009 at 10:48 AM #

    Slappy just admitted to using steroids for 3 years. He is going to get eviscerated at Fenway this season.

  5. Evan February 9, 2009 at 11:02 AM #

    My respect for him just went up.

  6. Sean O February 9, 2009 at 11:19 AM #

    Why? He's a pussy for waiting until he got caught. He didn't man up to anything, he's even more of a hypocrite and a liar than we thought he was before this story broke.
    If your girlfriend catches you in bed with her best friend, you can't say "honey, I have something to tell you", because it's too damn late. He deserves every bit of fresh new hell heaped on his shoulders this season.

  7. JaredK February 9, 2009 at 11:30 AM #

    I'd add JJ Hardy to the list (I'm never giving up on this one)…they should have a better read on Alcides Escobar by July. Scouts have said Escobar could compete for a gold glove right now, its just a matter of his raw but impressive offensive skills catching up (he and Elvis Andrus are very similar)
    If you think about it, its conceivable that our #7 hitter could be the most important guy in our line-up (or just the spot that currently concerns me as a drop-off), currently that looks to be Lowrie or Lowell. I'm sure the Sox would ideally like to have Ellsbury and Pedroia at the top of the line-up (Pedroia a given, Ellsbury hoping for improvement), if they keep Ortiz in the 3-hole, you will have potentially your 3 best obp guys (in addition to Ortiz ,all likely .370+) in Youk, Bay and Drew to follow. Whoever is hitting behind those 3 needs to have some timely hits. I'm fine with Lowrie or Lowell in the 8-spot but would prefer a more sure thing hitting behind Youk, Bay and Drew.
    Of course by the time Milwaukee may be ready to consider dealing Hardy (if it happens), Lowrie could put any concerns to bed.

  8. Joe February 9, 2009 at 11:44 AM #

    Sean, while I agree with part of what you are saying, I don't feel that ARod had to say "three years," and not just "one month in 2003," or something like that. He cheated, yes, but at least he admitted to an extended period of time, which increases the odds that he is telling the truth in my opinion (for all we know he may still be cheating though :). But everything will be tainted from here on out for him, just like it is for everyone else.

  9. Evan February 9, 2009 at 11:58 AM #

    Because he didn't take the Bonds and Clemens route. THAT's more of a pussy move.

  10. Sean O February 9, 2009 at 12:02 PM #

    They were on the way out of baseball, while Rodriguez has 9 more years on his contract. He has to try to make good, Bonds / Clemens don't.
    I don't believe he was being generous by saying 3 years instead of a month or once or whatever he could've made up. That lying snake Pettitte tried that, and he was proven to be an even bigger liar and hypocrite when evidence came out that contradicted even that. Undoubtedly other info would've surfaced, and so he's just making a logical first attack.
    If he hadn't built a contract around him being the clean savior of baseball, then maybe he could have a bit of innocence on his side. But he knew full well that he was tainted, and went for it regardless.

  11. Bob February 9, 2009 at 12:24 PM #

    Furthermore, does anyone really believe that he used those 'roids for just 3 years? That's a little bit insulting to my intelligence A-Rod.
    Personally I think the whole PED thing is overdone as is all the hemming and hawing about "sanctity of the game," but Damn it's fun to watch Slappy McPurplelips get hit by it.

  12. Joe February 9, 2009 at 12:46 PM #

    That is a good point about his approach being the "logical" one, Sean.

  13. Joshua Hynes February 9, 2009 at 12:56 PM #

    Peter Gammons has mentioned several times in his ESPN column that Tigers' Magglio Ordonez, Gary Sheffield, Carlos Guillen, Dontrelle Willis, Jeremy Bonderman and Nate Robertson.

  14. Tessie's Dad February 9, 2009 at 1:45 PM #

    So Slappy claims he took PEDs because of the pressure of being MLB's highest-paid player? And he is still the highest-paid, right? Hmmm.
    There's no way I'm going to believe he put on pinstripes, immediately saw the error of his ways, and left his 'stuff' in Texas. No way.

  15. Gerry February 9, 2009 at 2:17 PM #

    If his 'confession' is enough to take the heat off him and everyone else, this might die down in favor of baseball. If the rest of that list is released, or if Canseco drops another bomb, this will be a long summer of background roid noise; and lots of people we respect will be dragged down into it. That won't be pleasant for anyone, or good for baseball.
    Time for the owners and players to institute a zero tolerance policy, cleanse the game with transparency, and get back to baseball.

  16. David Hannes February 9, 2009 at 2:49 PM #

    Mine did as well…but not where it was last week.
    Still, he is smart enough to know that Pettitte and Giambi gained some respect for fessing up to their transgressions, while guys like McGwire and Bonds are seen as cheats AND liars.
    I think, also, the fact that he did it after he signed a contract–and not the year before–somehow makes it seem a bit more tolerable; also, claiming that he did not know exactly what he took makes him seem a bit naïve–that he was just some sort of a pawn in the game.
    But, that said, he didn't say he only "tried it" or "it was only for an injury"–and taking it for three years versus one off-season means he took it habitually and for the wrong reasons…but at least he fessed up to it and voluntarily stopped.

  17. Eric February 9, 2009 at 5:54 PM #

    i couldn't agree more with David and Evan. and i love to hate A-Roid as much as anyone. anytime there's this much money to be made through these outrageous contracts, what do you expect? i would do it. in a heartbeat. if its between being a washout because of an injury early in my career, or just to straight out earn the big pay day; i'd do it. and i'd try my damndest to not get caught. he's doing exactly what i'd do if i were him. 250 million dollars does funny things to people (to put it lightly)
    Slappy McPurplelips!!!! i love it.
    go about half way down. and you'll see the one of my favorite pics. A-Roid's stupid face while he's gettin the high cheese! i don't know that there's a single picture i've ever seen that was more satisfying really.
    i just won't stop hating him because i respect that he fessed up. (and i see what Sean O is saying but i don't quite agree) i know it sounds weird. but i respect/hate Jeter too.

  18. Eric February 9, 2009 at 5:57 PM #

    its just too much fun raggin on any yankee! and like i've already commented in another thread, i cannot wait to ride that guy the ENTIRE time he's in Boston. i got all kinds of pent up frustration from this sluggish economy just waitin for him.

  19. Dave B February 9, 2009 at 6:40 PM #

    I love this. I, personally, don't care at all that he took PEDs. Furthermore, I don't hate A-Rod or any Yankee. The fact that we are evening talking about this in terms of Yankees/Red Sox is absurd.
    That being said, A-Rod is a joke. You people respect him for coming clean about doing PED's? I think he is an idiot for doing it. I hope that the Feds come after him now. What did he have to gain? It wasn't like he was very convincing in the softball interview. He looked like the same sleezy conniving self. He is sorry about getting caught not taking the drugs.

  20. Eric February 9, 2009 at 6:45 PM #

    It's easy to rag on admitted steroid users when they are only on the Yankees, but will you guys be so critical if a prominent Red Sox player admits to steroid use, or even worse, gets his name leaked from of the list of 104 before coming clean? Would you be willing to put an asterisk on the '04 or '07 World Series wins if an important player is revealed to have used steroids. I realize this is purely hypothetical at this point, but I'm anticipating a lot of hypocrisy from fans of other teams in the future who are ripping A-Rod.
    There are almost 100 unnamed players who failed drug tests, so you would have to imagine that it is likely that each team has a few guys who tested positive. It is also possible that there are many more people who used other than the 104 who failed the test. There is no question that A-Rod deserves to be criticized for his past steroid use, but I believe that when the whole list leaks, there are going to be a lot of surprised and disappointed fans everywhere.

  21. Eric February 9, 2009 at 7:07 PM #

    sorry Eric, no asterisk. unless by your logic you think that every team since (some predetermined year sometime in the 80's) should also have an asterisk. even so, our hypothetical steroid infested team was better than all the others. so no asterisk. and if my memory serves me right, there weren't too many current Sox in the Mitchell report. in the end, all i can do is hope no one from my team is of this 103 yet to be revealed players. the odds aren't good. and i'm not looking forward to it.

  22. Eric February 9, 2009 at 7:19 PM #

    I don't think there should be an asterisk at all on the Sox championships in '04 and '07. I was just trying to make a point about the absurdity of damning certain teams and players and letting others off scot-free when it seems that this was a widespread problem. I would just like to see a little perspective rather than this steroid story turning into another round of Yankee bashing as an extension of the rivalry.
    Nobody should be happy about great players admitting steroid use, regardless of what team they played for. But when you say things like "I can't wait to ride that guy the entire time he is in Boston", I am just saying that you should be prepared to ride your own players if a Red Sox is revealed to have tested positive. And understandably, I imagine you would not want to.

  23. Sam K February 10, 2009 at 6:53 AM #

    You know, as Bronson Arroyo and Jason Varitek will tell you, we already had perfectly legitimate reasons to hate ARod anyway. You think we're going to stop hating him now?
    He was already detestable. This just confirms his status, historically speaking.

  24. TIMMER February 13, 2009 at 8:34 AM #


  25. Anonymous February 13, 2009 at 9:05 AM #

    Huff would be a great addition to the bullpen.

  26. Boomerangs.com February 13, 2009 at 9:10 AM #

    First, let's state the obvious. The likelihood of Arod not being on steroids while he was a yankee is in my estimation less than 10%. He was almost definitely on steroids in Seattle also if you look at his numbers and statistical probability. Anyone would be tempted by this but Arod was a major league # 1 pick type prospect since he was 16. He has no excuses.
    Regarding Bosox trades, do you think Holiday and some of these other guys are not on steroids? Theo is doing the right thing going homegrown as much as possible. These guys get a big payday and then who knows what is going to happen. Do we want to win by cheating. I do not.
    I had a high school associate who went from under 200 lbs to becoming the US national heavyweight lifting champion at 19 years old and there is no question how that happened. Steroids give runners explosive first steps and hitters much more power. Even pitchers apparently benefit greatly. If you see a superstar in baseball there is a very good chance he is still on designer steroids. They never caught Armstrong. Think about it. The game is still probably full of steroid users. What a sham. I love baseball. I hate steroids.

  27. Rob (Cleveland) February 13, 2009 at 10:21 AM #

    Victor won't be going anywhere this year. The best odds would be for you to get Shoppach. Victor isn't pretty much one of the faces of our franchise and 7 million isn't to much for us to pay a player. We have catching depth and that is true but the only talk from cleveland is us possibly moving Shoppach, and we haven't incase Hafner still isn't Healthy so we can put Victor at first and Have Shoppach Catch.

  28. Steve February 13, 2009 at 11:07 AM #

    So far, the article and comments are thoroughly uninteresting. The only place we know we need more depth is at catcher. Where are the more thrilling trade prospects for a young catcher who can hit AND throw out grandma on a walker as she tries to steal? How do we get Atlanta to part with Brian McCann? The A's (who have FIVE catchers invited to Spring Training) to part with Kurt Suzuki? Who are the other 20-something solid hitting/strong defensive catchers that we should consider (NOTE: the guys from Texas strike out a whopping 33% of the time – not my idea of the future Sox catcher)?

  29. UNDER26CHAMPIONSHIPS February 13, 2009 at 1:19 PM #

    Typical red sox fans, talking about A-rod when the discussion in hand is regarding in season trading. Red Sox will always remain bottem of the barrel of class.

  30. Blue Lou February 13, 2009 at 1:50 PM #

    Looks like ANONYMOUS already picked up on this but, what do Hinske, Kotsay or Huff, for that matter, have to do with supplementing the bullpen mid-season? I don't see it.

  31. Albanese February 13, 2009 at 3:10 PM #

    Just another amateur writer here. "if Jacoby Ellsbury doesn't turn it around". What a insanely stupid comment. As a rookie, the kid hit .280 with 50 SB. Oh, and Gold Glove caliber defense.
    What exactly does he have to turn around?

  32. Anonymous February 13, 2009 at 6:00 PM #

    Forget about those guys and get Albert Pujols when the time is right….go Bosox!

  33. Evan February 13, 2009 at 7:31 PM #

    Hmm… maybe OBP? SLG? I dunno. The things that matter?

  34. Evan February 13, 2009 at 7:33 PM #

    "Where are the more thrilling trade prospects for a young catcher who can hit AND throw out grandma on a walker as she tries to steal?"
    In your dreams or, more accurately, very improbable. It's not as easy as we fans make it out.

  35. Evan February 13, 2009 at 7:33 PM #

    Huff = bench, not bullpen. Isn't that…. well, obvious?

  36. Sean O February 13, 2009 at 7:44 PM #

    Nothing says 'professional writer' like "a insanely". If you're going to try bitchy, it helps to get it right yourself.

  37. stan February 14, 2009 at 6:15 AM #

    The guy got caught and is still thinks he didn't do anything wrong.
    On one hand he says,he didn't know if he tested positive or not,on the other hand he says,he had so much pressure to live up to the contract,that he turned to banned substances,which on is it,he didn't know or he knew.
    He is the biggest loser out there.
    I want to see someone comeout and say,before my name comes out,I want to let you all know that I did an illegal substance,I knew it was wrong,but I did it.
    A-roid should and will not get my respect for that or any other stupid thing he has or will do inthe future.