4:46pm: The Red Sox have given up searching for starting pitching help and they'll rely on one of their own pitchers in the event of a play-in game tomorrow, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com (on Twitter).
12:17pm: ESPN's Buster Olney and CSNNE.com's Sean McAdam both find the Red Sox trading for a starter to be unlikely, to varying degrees (Twitter links). Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star hears that the Royals and Red Sox are discussing Chen, but one official calls a trade a "long shot."
10:18am: Royals lefty Bruce Chen is among Boston's trade targets as they consider acquiring a starter for a potential Thursday play-in game, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Chen is scheduled to start tonight in Minnesota as he seeks to tie his career-high of 13 wins.
Chen projects as a Type B free agent, and an arbitration offer from Kansas City is realistic. Red Sox GM Theo Epstein would have to surrender something significant to best the value of that potential draft pick, and he'd probably have to complete the trade before even knowing whether he'd need Chen for tomorrow. At most, the Red Sox would be able to use Chen for that one game, as he would not be eligible for the postseason roster. As Rosenthal notes, the lefty has already cleared waivers. The 34-year-old Chen has a 3.98 ERA, 5.7 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9, and 35.5% groundball rate on the season.
In theory, Epstein could also look at fully rested starters such as Chien-Ming Wang, Rodrigo Lopez, and Aaron Harang, though Harang also may be a Type B. If the Red Sox do not acquire a starter, they might have to use John Lackey or Tim Wakefield on three days rest should a play-in game occur Thursday at Tropicana Field. Another option might be activating Clay Buchholz, according to WEEI's Rob Bradford.