Red Sox Trade Rumor Roundup: Masterson, Sweeney, Betancourt & Liriano


With just over 24-hours until the trade deadline, the Red Sox have plenty of irons in the fire but have yet to pull the trigger on a major deal.  Rumors are swirling and internal names such as Josh Beckett, Ryan Sweeney and Daniel Nava are the most popular.  Of course giving up one of your own means the Sox will look acquire an outsider to bring in to the Boston fold.  With that let’s get you caught up on some of the latest Red Sox trade rumors with this edition of the roundup.

If the Red Sox are indeed interested in upgrading their starting rotation then maybe acquiring Justin Masterson and reuniting him with the Boston organization may be just what the doctor ordered.

According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, the Cleveland Indians may be interested in dealing Masterson and both the Red Sox and Rangers were on hand to watch his horrific start on Saturday.  Masterson gave up 10 runs (8 earned) over 5.2 innings, raising his ERA to Josh Beckett like at 4.47.  On the season Masterson is 7-9 through 22 starts and 139.0 innings pitched.  He has a WHIP of 1.381 with a strikeout ratio of 6.9/9 and a walk rate of 3.8/9.

Lately the Tribe has fallen behind in the AL Central, falling two games below .500 after being swept by the Twins over the weekend. Nothing has been reported as to what the Indians would be looking for in return for Masterson and given he hasn’t replicated his 2011 success as of yet, the Tribe is unlikely to let him go for nothing.

This is a deal the Red Sox should look at making before the deadline.  Not only was Masterson a highly sought after prospect when he was with the Red Sox, but his salary is only $3.83MM this season and is arbitration eligible for the next two season before being a free-agent in 2015.  He’s young, has raw talent and could help this club in the coming years.  Make the call Ben.

One name we’ve heard that the Red Sox could potentially trade is outfielder Ryan Sweeney.  Now we hear from Gordon Edes that the Sox are in fact shopping Sweeney, although he doesn’t indicate whom is interested at this point.  Earlier this month we heard that the Cubs were interested in the former Oakland A.  Given the plethora of outfielders the Red Sox currently have on the roster and injured-reserved list, it’s no surprise they are looking to move one or two of them. The 27-year old doesn’t hit for a lot of power, producing a line of .265/.308/.380/.688 with no home runs and 16 RBI.  A couple of injuries have limited Sweeney to just 215 plate appearances.

The Sox bullpen has been one of the consistent bright spots all season long and reports have the Sox interested in Rockie’s reliever Rafael Betancourt. Acquiring Betancourt would be an upgrade for the Red Sox despite the bullpen being in the top five in all of baseball.  On the season Betancourt is 1-3 with a 2.92 ERA in 38 games out of the Colorado bullpen this season. He is 34-27 with a 3.17 ERA in 581 career appearances (courtesy of NESN).

Betancourt is of interest to the Blue Jays, Rangers and Braves so the Rockies are in a position to demand fair value for the reliever.  It’s hard to fathom the Red Sox will upgrade the bullpen over their rotation, but stranger things have happened.

Finally, Nick Cafardo of the Globe tweets that the Red Sox were in heavy discussions with the Twins for starting pitcher Francisco Liriano before Minnesota dealt him to the White Sox.  Liriano may not have been upgrade over anyone in the current Red Sox rotation except for Aaron Cook.

Tags: Boston Red Sox Cleveland Indians Daniel Nava Francisco Liriano Josh Beckett Justin Masterson Rafael Betancourt Ryan Sweeney