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Red Sox Rumors: Starting Pitching Boston's Top Target

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 25:  Newly named Executive Vice President/ General Manager of the Boston Red Sox Ben Cherington speaks during a press conference at Fenway Park October 25, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 25: Newly named Executive Vice President/ General Manager of the Boston Red Sox Ben Cherington speaks during a press conference at Fenway Park October 25, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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Now that Kevin Youkilis has been traded to the Chicago White Sox, things are expected to be quiet on the Boston Red Sox trade front as they assess whether they will be buyers or sellers, reports Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com:

Now that Youkilis has been traded, it figures to be quiet for a few weeks on the trade front. The Red Sox will want to assess where they are shortly before the July 31 deadline before determining whether to buy or sell.

McAdam goes on to note that even if the Red Sox do feel they’re in the playoff race this summer, they could still be both buyers and sellers. If they are going to buy, the rotation is expected to be an area targeted, as Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told Casey Stern and Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio that starting pitching will be the club’s top target this summer.

While the Red Sox are at or near the top of the league in most offensive categories, the same cannot be said for their pitching, specifically their starters. On the season, Red Sox starters have combined to produce the major’s fourth-worst ERA and WHIP, 4.81 and 1.39.

Even if Boston buys, McAdam believes they could still ending up trading players such as backup catcher Kelly Shoppach, outfielder Ryan Sweeney, and relievers such as Scott Atchison and Matt Albers.