Red Sox Could Use a Righty in the Bullpen
With the deadline for acquiring players who can be post-season eligible fast approaching, the Red Sox are most likely in the hunt for a right-handed pitcher for the bullpen.
But the guess here is the Red Sox already have that player on the team roster in starter Ryan Dempster.
With the best record in the American League – Boston has the last shot to claim a player in the AL, meaning competitors Texas, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland and Oakland all have to pass a player before the Red Sox have a shot.
And for a National Leaguer, all NL teams need to take a pass on a waiver claim before the AL teams come up to bat.
That means a good deal is unlikely to make its way to Boston.
More likely the options will be relievers with bad contracts (Jonathan Papelbon or Heath Bell) or undistinguished performance (Kevin Gregg – reports say Gregg has cleared waivers – or Tom Wilhelmsen).
Or poor starters who could shift to the pen (Joe Blanton or Edinson Volquez – who was just picked up by the Dodgers).
These look like options the Red Sox will pass on.
Should the Sox make the playoffs – they will go with no more than four starters.
Right now, Dempster looks like the odd man out (losing out to Felix Doubront for the last spot in the rotation).
And if Clay Buchholz makes it back to the big league roster – that would pretty much seal the deal that Dempster heads to the bullpen (probably for Doubront too).
Dempster has bullpen experience – he had 33 saves in 2005 (I know a long time ago).
Adding a veteran presence like Dempster to the bullpen could make things easier for Junichi Tazawa (looks like he is running out of gas) and Brandon Workman (may not be ready for 8th inning duties).
Do you think the Red Sox will try to bolster their bullpen today?