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Red Sox Rumors: Starters, Relievers, Closers, Oh-My!

ST PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 16:  Pitcher Clay Buchholz #11 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on June 16, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 16: Pitcher Clay Buchholz #11 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on June 16, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
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I say it over and over, but what a weird off-season for the Boston Red Sox and its fans. What seemed like a dynasty that would never end just a few years ago is quickly becoming a story of a team picking off players/coaches/management from the Royals, a clubhouse losing its mind at the end of the season, front-office turmoil (I exaggerate), and what appears to be a penny-pinching approach to solving the most obvious problem: the rotation.

Over the Monster looks at why trading Youkilis to help solve the problem isn't realistic, Buster Olney tells us it looks like they're standing pat (but Saunders or Kuroda would be a good addition if Boston antes up), and then there's yesterday's story about the pursuit of low-cost pitching options:

  • Responding To Rumors: Trading Kevin Youkilis For Pitching Is Probably Not Possible - Over the Monster
    "After September everyone thought the Red Sox needed pitchers. Lots and lots of pitchers. Good pitchers, bad pitchers, mediocre pitchers, or ice tea pitchers. Considering the way last season ended, any kind of pitcher the organization could get their hands on would do. But, so the story went, the Red Sox would have to give up something in order to receive one or more of these fabled pitchers. Makes sense, but what could they give up?"
  • Breaking down the Boston Red Sox rotation - Buster Olney (Insider)
    "More than any other group, the Boston starters fueled the September collapse. But so far, the team has been encouraged by the response from Jon Lester and Josh Beckett to the debacle, and with Clay Buchholz due back, the Red Sox could have a strong front three in their rotation. Daisuke Matsuzaka, who had been pitching with a bad elbow for awhile before having Tommy John surgery last summer, is in excellent physical condition and could be pitching in minor-league games by late May and return to the rotation by mid-season."
  • Boston Red Sox Pursuing Paul Maholm, "Low-Cost" Starters - MLB Daily Dish
    "Maholm, 29, could make sense for the team as he is younger than Hiroki Kuroda and Joe Saunders, and only a year older than Edwin Jackson. Meanwhile Maholm wouldn't require a multi-year commitment like the other three pitchers and would without a doubt require the lowest deal in monetary value."