With the trade deadline (July 31st) looming, Sox talk around town is centering on who may be moved (in order, Lugo, Crisp, Wily Mo Pena), and what the Sox may have to give up (Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz seem popular "asks"). But what do the Sox need?
On one level the Sox seem to be having a terrific year, with a 56-37 record, and (more importantly) an 8 game lead over the second-place New York Yankees. But the whole seems to be better than the sum of the parts, as the Sox are getting underperformance from SS (Lugo), RF (Drew), CF (Crisp, although starting to show signs of life), and (until the last week or so), LF (Manny) and DH (Ortiz). (To be fair, 3B (Lowell), 2B (Pedroia, after a poor start) and 1B (Youkilis) have exceeded expectations, and C (Varitek) is probably at par.) Pitching has been generally good, although only Beckett, Papelbon, and Okijima have been outstanding.
A fourth outfielder (Pena is clearly not the answer for defensive replacement purposes) is probably the immediate need that can be solved cheaply; the others needs are more extensive and require a major re-tooling.