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Red Sox Quick Hit Notes

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Beckett, Lackey Highly Rated. Sports Illustrated recently released the results of an MLB player poll – taken in the preseason – on the most overrated pitchers in baseball. Josh Beckett landed number three and John Lackey placed number four (based on 2011 performance most people couldn’t have had a very high opinion of Lackey – and he’s still overrated?). So far this season, one would think Beckett may be turning perceptions around. Also of note: C.J. Wilson was number one and Jonathan Papelbon was five.

Stay Away from Saunders. Ken Rosenthal reports the Diamondbacks may look to shop lefty Joe Saunders in an effort to clear a spot for top prospect Trevor Bauer. Boston should pass on Saunders. It would be better to focus its top trading chips on a potentially premier starter like the Cubs’ Matt Garza – someone who can make a difference in a tough AL East race. And the Red Sox will be looking for pitching. There’s a good piece by Alex Speier retracing Boston’s decisions on Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson – noting how the team passed on both because the prices were too high. Don’t expect the asking prices to come down as we approach the trading deadline.

Barnes Goes Seven. Big game yesterday for Red Sox top pitching prospect Matt Barnes, pitching a complete game shutout (seven innings because it was part of a doubleheader). Barnes dropped his ERA to 0.93. If he keeps this up, look for Barnes to be promoted again this season – moving up to AA Portland.

Blue Jays Targeting Quentin. Jon Heyman writes that Toronto would be a good home for OF Carlos Quentin if San Diego decides to move the free agent to be. The Red Sox should explore acquiring Quentin. I know the Sox outfield is (theoretically) getting more crowded with Cody Ross, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford coming off the DL. But how can Boston count on Crawford for anything? Get Quentin as a righty power bat rental and park him in leftfield. Platoon Ross with Ryan Sweeney in right. And hope Ellsbury returns to form in center. As for Crawford – anything he delivers this season should be seen as a bonus, don’t plan on any production. His injury and performance track records don’t indicate he can contribute. One more thought: Look for the Yankees to get in on Quentin if Brett Gardner continues to have elbow woes.

What do you think – should the Red Sox look to add another bat? Should they count on Crawford to return and contribute?

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