So it’s really come down to this.  Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports that the Red Sox continue to scour the trade market for someone to start a potential Game 163, and one of the potential targets is Royals LHP Bruce Chen

Before you start kicking and screaming (as I did just a minute ago), let’s try to look at this objectively for a moment.  While Chen has been a little homer happy this year (18 in 147 innings), he’s actually been pretty solid; all things considered.  With the Royals this season, he’s produced a 12-8 record with a 3.98 ERA, 4.48 FIP, and a 93/48 K/BB ratio. 

Is he spectacular?  No.  Is he an optimal starter for the most important game of the season?  Far from it.  Still, he’d be the best option should hTheo pull the trigger on the trade.  That is, unless you consider either the potentially unstable John Lackey (4.71 FIP) on short rest, or the aging Tim Wakefield (4.99 FIP) as better options.  I do not.  The good news is that the Rays haven’t fared as well against LHP as they have RHP.  From a matchup standpoint, this deal would theoretically work in the Red Sox’s favor. 

There’s just one fly in the ointment.  Chen is scheduled to pitch for the Royals tonight.  Presumably, if a deal is made, the Red Sox would nix that start.  The question is:  will the front office pull the trigger on a potentially unnecessary trade (and give up a player) prior to the outcome of tonight’s games?  If they don’t, will the Royals agree to keep Chen from starting their season’s final game?  Of course, these questions are moot if the deal is only for cash considerations.   

There’s still a lot to be answered in the next 12 hours or so.  Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.