First off, Rich Harden, who has had an interesting career to say the least. When he's been healthy, he's been great, compiling a 3.66 career ERA, however he's been injured more consistently than not. He beat the Yankee yesterday, allowing 2 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings in his 4th start of the season. In those 4 starts this year, Harden has gone 2-1/4.63/23, as he has been effective as a #3 or 4 starter. He
has consistently put up 20 starts over the past few years, and that would be enough to fill the void of Clay Buchholz out of the rotation. His best seasons came in 2008 (10-2/2.07/181) and 2005 (10-5/2.53/121) and 2004 (11-7/3.99/167). Yesterday the Red Sox talked tothe A's about him, reportedly.
My second name is Jeff Francoeur, an outfielder for the Kansas City Royals. He has put up fairly consistent numbers for teams over the past several years and is having a very nice 2011 season at .269/13/60. His best seasons came in 2006 (.260/29/103) and 2007 (.293/19/105), as he played 162 games in each of those seasons. He has a great arm inright field and won a Gold Glove in 2007. He would be considerably better than J.D. Drew and would not be nearly as expensive as Carlos Beltran or even Ryan Ludwick. The Red Sox have contacted the Royals about him, and I could see it happening.
My third and final name is Jeff Baker, a utility infielder for the Cubs. He would provide some relief and fresh air around the clubhouse as well as making a run for the starting shortstop job. He has put together a very nice little season at .287/2/18 in 54 games. He has pretty much been a backup his whole career, but has shown good versatility and would be a good man for the Sox to acquire. The Cubs have said that they are not going to deal him, but with the Cubs not going anywhere this year, they might change their mind for a few mid-level prospects. Please vote on my new poll about the Red Sox secondary trade options as well as the blockbuster trade options.