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MLB Boston Red Sox

Potential Trade Targets for the Boston Red Sox

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Trade options for the Red Sox

Trade options
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox GM Ben Cherington is in the unenviable position of having a couple blatant holes on a contending team. The Red Sox clearly need a guy to take over the closer role, and could really use another pitcher, and sooner rather than later would be ideal for the Sox.

So, Cherington is likely on the phone daily seeking potential trade partners, but a late June trade is more difficult than a late July trade, there are fewer sellers and the cost of acquisition is likely higher. There are really only a handful of teams that are far enough out of the race that they can reasonably be considered sellers at this time, and there is nobody on the Miami Marlins worth trading for.

The Red Sox freed up plenty of money in the trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, so player salary shouldn’t be an issue. Also, there are a lot of young arms in the system, so a two or three prospect for a player deal seems very doable. The recent struggles of John Lester and injury to Clay Buchholtz have created the need for another arm in the starting rotation, and I believe the closer issues speak for themselves.

I have highlighted five guys the Red Sox should target to trade for. In a perfect world, they would get the first and fifth guys on this list, but any combination of starter and reliever will definitely help. Some are obvious, some not so much, but here are two starters and three relievers I think the Sox should go after.

Follow Shaun on twitter @shaunkernahan.

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Matt Garza

Trade options
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Garza knows the division and knows how to pitch in a pennant race. He could slide in as the No. 3 starter and be a difference maker in the playoffs. He would be expensive to trade for, so the Boston Red Sox should ensure they can sign him to an extended deal.

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Bud Norris

Trade options
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

I am not totally sold on Bud Norris, but he is clearly the second best starter that is being dangled out there. Recent comments about how fun it would be to pitch for his childhood team, the San Francisco Giants, rubbed his manager Bo Porter the wrong way, so jumping in now while he isn’t exactly in the best of graces might land a small discount.

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Matt Thornton

Trade options
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Thornton is not the closer, and Addison Reed is too young for the Chicago White Sox to trade away now, but Thornton did hold down the job until Reed had matured into the role. He isn’t having the best of seasons, and this may be coming out of left field, but he is one of the few guys with closing experience that might be available now.

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Kevin Gregg

Trade options
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The only reason the Chicago Cubs wouldn’t deal Kevin Gregg is the fear of having to spend the rest of the season with the abomination that is Carlos Marmol in the 9th. Gregg has spent his career pitching well in late innings, but never really handed a long term closer role, so despite a long history as closer, he does have a long history of effectiveness in late innings, and just might be able to fill the role for the Red Sox.

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Francisco Rodriguez

Trade options
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers are surprisingly terrible this season and I haven’t really heard them listed as sellers, but Ben Cherington needs to give them a call. Francisco Rodriguez has been in every big situation you can imagine, and he is quietly pitching really well. He could easily secure the back end of the rotation and since his contract is expensive, the trade chips just might be pretty affordable.