If the Rays and Red Sox both win tonight (or both lose) there will be a one-game playoff tomorrow at Tropicana Field (4pm). While the Rays have a couple of options to use as a starting pitcher, the Red Sox do not.
And to fill that void, Theo Epstein may make a trade before tomorrow’s game. Yes, a trade.
With Jon Lester being used tonight on three-days rest, that leaves either John Lackey or Tim Wakefield for tomorrow’s game. But according to Ken Rosenthal, the Red Sox may try to trade for Bruce Chen…
Sources: Red Sox still discussing whether to get starting pitcher for potential tie-breaker. Among targets: Royals LHP Bruce Chen
Tacky? Sure. But it is legal. Trades are still allowed. But any player acquired is not eligible for the postseason roster. So if the Red Sox do trade for Chen (or somebody else), he would only be brought in to pitch one game.
This is also the same type of move that Andrew Friedman would make. We always smile when Friedman finds a way to stretch the roster rules (e.g. the sprained left roster spot). We cannot now turn around and complain when the Red Sox do it.
Chen is one of those soft-tossing lefties that often give the Rays fits. Chen has not faced the Rays this season, but in his career, he has a 3.75 ERA in 11 starts versus the Rays. And last year, with the Rays tied with the Yankees with three games to go, Chen tossed a 2-hit shutout against the Rays.
The Rays have yet to announce a starting pitcher for tomorrow’s game (if needed). Our gut says that Matt Moore would be the starting pitcher unless he is needed out of the bullpen tonight. If Moore works tonight, then Jeff Niemann would be the starting pitcher. Again, this is just a gut feeling. Or maybe it is wishful thinking. You decide.