Red Sox Notes: Beltran, Ortiz, Papelbon, Garza

The Red Sox kick off the second half on Friday with a big series at Tropicana Field against the Rays.  Here are some notes about the club with the AL's best record…

  • The Red Sox have contacted the Mets about Carlos Beltran, a Boston team official tells Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston  (Twitter link).  According to the official, however, the Sox were "just doing [their] due diligence."
  • Beltran would certainly fill Boston's hole in right field, an area that GM Theo Epstein admitted is an area of concern, reports's Ian Browne.  Epstein said he would make a move if necessary, but the GM also noted that the Sox could improve at the position from within, either with Josh Reddick playing more or J.D. Drew breaking out of his season-long slump.
  •'s Ryan Hannable has a partial transcript of Peter Gammons' appearance on the Mut & Merloni radio show today.  Gammons said Boston faces "difficult decisions" on pending free agents David Ortiz and Jonathan Papelbon, particularly Papelbon since Daniel Bard is waiting in the wings as the club's next closer.  Gammons believes if Papelbon wants a three-year deal worth $36MM or more, the Sox will let him go.
  • Also from Gammons, he doesn't think Boston will trade a number of prospects for a starter like Matt Garza in order to solve its lack of rotation depth.
  • The Red Sox face a 40-man roster crunch this winter, reports Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.  "For that reason, the Red Sox can afford — and, indeed, might be wise — to trade three or four high-level prospects for an impact player," MacPherson writes.  "Not only could that impact player help them win the World Series, but the trade could clear the 40-man-roster logjam and allow the Red Sox to retain some of the other prospects they've devoted so many resources to developing." 

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