The Boston Red Sox closed the non-waiver trade season with just two moves, but they were the two moves they really needed. Early in July they got Matt Thornton, and on Tuesday, they acquired Jake Peavy.
The Red Sox’ biggest question marks were pitching, but now it has been solidified. Clay Buchholz has not had a setback in weeks and is expected to join the rotation again in late August. When he does, the Red Sox will be able to throw out a rotation of Buchholtz, John Lackey, Jon Lester, Peavy and either Felix Dubront or Ryan Dempster.
They now are able to move Brandon Workman to the bullpen where he can eat three or four innings in relief, or fill in as an emergency starter. Thornton means the Sox have two quality left-handers in the pen to go with Craig Breslow. Koji Uehara has been impressive as closer, and Junichi Tazawa is an excellent setup man.
The Red Sox even have arms they will be able to turn to down the stretch now that Drake Britton has shown he can succeed in a bullpen role, and the token Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright has looked good recently.
The Red Sox are in a good position to make a run to win the division, but there are three teams for Boston to keep an eye on. The contending team that was widely thought to least likely make a deal were the Tampa Bay Rays; but they did, potentially getting a guy just to keep him from landing with the Sox in Jesse Crain.
The Baltimore Orioles also added three pitchers in trade season. Having already gotten production from Scott Feldman and Francisco Rodriguez, they have also added Bud Norris.
Then there’s the New York Yankees … let’s face it, the acquisitions of Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano this year makes them prime contenders for the 2008 World Series, not so much 2013.
That being said, moves made in the next month will require players to clear waivers, and Brian Cashman is sitting in a spot where he can claim anyone he feels would benefit other AL East teams, so the teams better have help in their system because it won’t be coming from waiver trades.