Boston Red Sox's Trade Deadline Strategy Blueprint

Brian RoachCorrespondent IJuly 9, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 06:  Kevin Gregg #63 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the 9th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on his way to his 15th save of the season at Wrigley Field on July 6, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Pirates 4-1.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox are sitting a solid 3.5 games up on the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East, but it would be more than that if the bullpen did not blow several games throughout the season.

The latest blown lead was a 7-3 game in the ninth on Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels when the bullpen fell apart. Sure, there was an error on the play that allowed the tying run to score, but it shouldn't have even been that close to begin with.

The Red Sox's main concern is to trade for some bullpen help immediately.

The first target should be Matt Thornton of the Chicago White Sox. It might not take too much to get him since the White Sox are struggling in 2013, but he still is a solid reliever. According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the left-handed veteran is on the list for the Red Sox. He has a solid 4.00 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 27 innings pitched with a 20/10 K/BB.

In order to get Thornton, the Red Sox will probably need to trade one of the young prospects they have. That will most likely be another reliever.

Another bullpen arm the Red Sox should spin the tires on is Kevin Gregg. 

The Chicago Cubs are considering trading Matt Garza, according to MLB Trade Rumors, but he is not the Cubs pitcher that the Red Sox should be targeting—especially if the bullpen is the highest concern.

Gregg is someone that can close out games and even setup for the Red Sox. With a 1.78 ERA and 15 saves, Gregg looks like a guy who could be the answer until Bailey returns to his normal self.

In order to get a trade done, Theo Epstein will probable want Jose De la Torre or another solid infield prospect in return.

It would be best for the Red Sox if both of these deals get done as soon as possible.