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Red Sox aren't messing around when looking for relief help

Rob Bradford
July 11, 2018 - 10:17 am

They've done this before.

In 2007, the Red Sox went out and got the best available closer at the non-waiver trade deadline, Eric Gagne. (That didn't work out so well.) Two years later they reeled in another closer in Billy Wagner. (That worked out significantly better.) And last year? It was Mets closer Addison Reed who was traded for. All of the moves came even with an established game-ender already in the fold.

Here we are again, with Craig Kimbrel doing his thing as the Red Sox' closer. And, unlike some of those previous years, the Sox actually have some viable in-house options to get to the ninth inning, with Matt Barnes having allowed just two hits and a pair of walks while striking out 16 in his last nine innings, and Joe Kelly finally resurfacing his changeup to escape the June doldrums.

But here they are again, seemingly looking to add some extra security.

While we knew the Red Sox were eyeing Baltimore's Zach Britton, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick writes that they aren't stopping there. He has one evaluator saying about the Red Sox, "They're not just looking to get an eighth-inning reliever.They're looking to get a guy. A real guy.''

Crasnick said that he's heard the Red Sox inquired on Colorado closer Wade Davis -- who they dangled Travis Shaw for a few years ago -- while intently scouting Miami closer Kyle Barraclough.

There are others to be considered, such as San Diego lefty closer Brad Hand and Pirates' closer Felipe Vazquez, also a left-hander.

But there are a few things to consider before rolling out the welcome mat for one of these guys this week. First, because there are a lot of bad teams, this is going to be a buyers' market. There are going to be a lot of relievers made available, so there should be no rush. The Red Sox still have to figure out what they have internally, with Tyler Thornburg and Drew Pomeranz working their way back, and a guy like Ryan Brasier now blowing 100 mph, adding to the internal intrigue that guys like Ty Buttrey, Travis Lakins and Durbin Feltman started.

The guess here is the Red Sox will make another one of these deals. It's hard to ignore history.

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