The Boston Red Sox have been searching far and wide for a talented starting pitcher to add to their rotation. They were in on Ubaldo Jimenez, but he's headed to the Indians. They were in on Hiroki Kuroda, but he's not willing to move. They were in on Erik Bedard, but he looked bad in a Friday audition. So what's left? Jayson Stark has a clue:
Let's repeat: the Red Sox thought the fragile Erik Bedard looked shaky on Friday, so they have repotedly turned their attention to Rich Harden.
It makes sense, though. Harden is very similar to Bedard, in that he has all the talent in the world, and a completely unreliable body that drives his price way down. Harden was sidelined for a few months this year with a shoulder injury, which is nothing new, but he's come back to start five games, flashing his usual good fastball and changeup. In 29-1/3 innings, he has ten walks and 30 strikeouts, showing that he can still succeed. It's just a matter of keeping him on the mound, and from the looks of things, the Red Sox are willing to roll the dice.
No word yet on what the return might be, but Harden's price is probably lower than Bedard's, so it's doubtful the Red Sox would cough up too much, if this rumor is true.