Red Sox Trade Rumors: Would Matt Garza Be an Upgrade Worth Acquiring?

Marc WeinreichCorrespondent IJuly 23, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 15:  Starting pitcher Matt Garza #22 of the Chicago Cubs stretches before throwing against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field on July 15, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The ubs defeated the Diamondbacks 3-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

With a week before the MLB trade deadline, the Red Sox are sitting at .500 with 48 wins and 48 losses. Fans deserve better.

The Yankees look spectacular right now, but the race in the American League East is tight, and the Sox are 9.5 games back.  The team needs to make a move before the July 31 deadline, or Boston's postseason will be in serious jeopardy.

ESPN's Buster Olney said on Friday during the Mike and Mike show that the Sox are "viewed as an early favorite in that conversation" for the Chicago Cubs' pitcher Matt Garza and that Chicago is still trying to move Ryan Dempster in an effort to rebuild.

But the Sox' acquisition of Garza wouldn't come without risk.

Sure, he was one of the best pitchers last year and has been very good at times this season. But Josh Beckett and Jon Lester are no slouches and are still capable of pitching at a high level. It's not clear that Garza going to Bean-town would be well-received by Boston's pitchers. Would Beckett and Lester roll out the red carpet and step into the bullpen without letting the demotion create chemistry issues?

As for Boston's other pitchers, Aaron Cook, Clay Buchholz and even Felix Doubront have looked good as of late.

The Sox no doubt have to make a move. But they're sadly mistaken if they believe that literally selling the farm for Garza is a sure-fire way to improve over the long-term.

Yes, he's held his own in the AL East, having won 15 games for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010, and has an ERA of 3.91 this season with a 5-7 record. He'd definitely boost a Boston mound that collectively boasts the fifth-worst ERA in the AL (4.09).

But the question remains: Is Garza really the upgrade the Sox should be looking to make?

My bet is that the Sox make the move. They'll probably give up too much for him but feel justified in doing it because in reality, it will make them a little better.

But, will it be enough to make a real run in the playoffs? Probably not.

The silver lining for the Sox is that while Garza wouldn't make them much better, Boston would win in one respect with the acquisition: they'd prevent those damn Yankees from making an even better case for why the New York pin stripes win it all this year.