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As the Trade Deadline closes in, the Red Sox still have slots to fill and pieces to fix. While the priorities are for the Red Sox to find a third baseman and a relief pitcher, the Red Sox are in a big need for a starting pitcher since Clay Buchholz will not return until September.
The Sox have inquired on several pitchers, but the latest one that has been brought up is Cliff Lee. Lee would be a huge boost in the rotation and would provide substantial depth. But as always, there is a catch. In return for Cliff Lee, the Phillies have asked for prized prospect Xander Bogaerts. For that reason, the Sox have to move on.
It is known around baseball that the Red Sox have one of the deepest farm system in the league. Out of all prospects in the Sox farm system, Bogaerts is the most exciting. Bogaerts is a shortstop, a position that the Sox have struggled to receive production from since Nomar Garciaparra was traded to the Chicago Cubs, and would provide substantial amount of power to the shortstop position. It is assumed that in a maybe one more season, Bogaerts will be in the Red Sox lineup. With so much potential and excitement, the Red Sox should not trade Bogaerts — not for Cliff Lee or anyone else. Bogaerts holds importance for the future that the Sox cannot trade away.
As I said, Lee would be a boost for the Sox. But considering that he is still owed $75 million for three years and is 34 years old, it makes the deal risky. The asking value for pitchers like Lee, Jake Peavy, Tim Lineceum, etc. is high. For now, the Sox should explore cheaper starting pitchers rather than dealing top prospects for pitching.