Mike Napoli is making a good case he can help a contending team after he doubled, homered and walked in another Red Sox loss to the White Sox, 9-2, Wednesday night on the night Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday strained his right quad muscle.
Bu the Cardinals went in another direction and landed Brandon Moss from the Indians in exchange for lefty pitcher Ron Kaminsky. So where could Napoli go? The Red Sox would love a taker for Napoli.
The Giants were a rumored suitor, but general manager Bobby Evans did not see a fit with the Red Sox. The Pirates also were a possible destination, but a team official said there were was nothing imminent.
The Cardinals had been looking at Milwaukee first baseman Adam Lind.
Napoli still could draw interest from the White Sox (who feel as if they’re back in the wild-card race) Astros, Mets, or Orioles.
“Haven’t heard a whisper on the Red Sox,” said one National League GM, who has young pitching Boston might be interested in. “Sometimes teams look to fill last-minute needs and those are the types of players Boston has available. I thought the Angels made a smart move on Victorino. He’s a winning ballplayer and that’s what you want this time of the season.”
The Red Sox would like to do with Napoli what they did with Victorino, who was obtained for Josh Rutledge, a fringe major leaguer, who could at least help the Sox at Triple A.
The Red Sox have had talks with the A’s, Mets, Indians and Padres about pitching, but it would take a small fortune of prospects to obtain Sonny Gray from Oakland, Noah Syndergaard from the Mets, or Carlos Carrasco or Corey Kluber from Cleveland. Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner of the Padres also are possible targets ofthe Red Sox.
The Red Sox don’t have to dance with the Phillies anymore. The Phillies and Rangers agreed on a multi-player deal Wednesday night that would send Hamels and reliever Jake Diekman to the Rangers for a package of young players, including catching prospect Jorge Alfaro.
The Rangers are pretty much out of it, but are looking to next season when Yu Darvish returns from Tommy John surgery.
The Red Sox could not pull the trigger on Hamels. They didn’t believe he was the answer.
John Boggs, Hamels’s agent, reiterated on Wednesday that despite having Boston on his no-trade list, Hamels would likely have OK’d a deal to the Red Sox.
The Red Sox probably made a mistake in not acquiring a proven commodity.
The time to get Hamels was before the season began. He would have stablized a new starting rotation and slotted everyone properly — Hamels one; Buchholz two; Rick Porcello three; Wade Miley four; and Joe Kelly/Justin Masterson five.
As it was, the Red Sox relied on Buchholz to be their No. 1, and he lived up to that at times. But he is injured for the sixth consecutive season. Prior to his right elbow strain, teams were interested in acquiring Buchholz, but the Red Sox weren’t interested in moving him because he had two option years on his contract at reasonable $13 million and $13.5 million salaries.
The tone of the entire season seemed to turn on this: the starting rotation has a 4.85 ERA, worst in baseball. The Miley trade with Arizona hasn’t worked out the way the Sox had hoped. Miley is 8-9 with a 4.65 ERA and he’s in danger of not reaching the 200-inning plateau, which is one of the reasons the Red Sox dealt Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster to Arizona.
Webster still isn’t ready to be a major league pitcher. De La Rosa is 8-5 with a 4.52 ERA for Arizona. He’s not lighting it up either, but the Diamondbacks prefer De La Rosa’s power arm.
The other big thing that didn’t work out for the Red Sox was the decision not to re-sign Andrew Miller. They made a good deal for him at the trade deadline last year when they obtained Eduardo Rodriguez. But they had the chance to re-sign him and offered four years at $32 million, while the Yankees offered $36 million.
So what’s next for the Red Sox?
There has been some talk internally on Koji Uehara. The Nationals weren’t one of the teams interested, instead focusing on Jonathan Papelbon, whom they acquired Tuesday.
The Red Sox have not been motivated to deal Uehara at this time. And some teams simply feel he’s too much of a risk at 40 years old, even though he’s had a very good season.
Milwaukee’s Francisco Rodriguez, San Diego’s Craig Kimbrel, and Cincinnati’s Aroldis Chapman are still out there for the taking as well.
The Nationals never considered Uehara, but they inquired about Chapman and found the cost exorbitant.
The Red Sox are not expected to deal one of their starting pitchers. The best shot was Buchholz. Teams have inquired about Miley, but the Red Sox don’t seem interested in moving him.