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.

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10 Comments

  1. Steve says:

    I don't believe JoeMa would put the fate of the Rays playoff hopes on q guy who only pitched 1 inning last time out. Imo it has to be either Moore or Torres, especially with all the LH bats the Sox have. It should only be Niemann if both of them are needed in tonights game.

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  2. Chris D says:

    Huh? How does this work. Wouldn't Chen have to be put on waivers, and if so, couldn't the Rays make a claim?

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  3. Charles says:

    The Red Sox have done this before - they brought in Mike Stanton at the end of the 2005 season. He pitched one inning for them and was ineligible for the postseason.

    I have no problem with this - it's not like they're going to be able to trade for Verlander or someone of significance. Chen had a decent enough year, but he's no world beater. Bottom line is, if it gets to Thursday, then the Rays have to man up and beat whoever takes the mound, so they can't worry about who it is.

    That said, I would much rather not get to Thursday and I like our chances. Small sample size of one start but Jon Lester was not good on short rest - in April of 2008 he gave up 9 hits (including 2 homers) and 2 walks in 5 innings against the Angels. Meanwhile the Rays matchup should be better - Price vs. whatever non-postseason-roster relievers the Yankees have to sacrifice.

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  4. Michael says:

    620 reported that the trade is complete but didn't cite a source.

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  5. Beth says:

    Like Chris D, I'm also confused about how a trade at this point would work. If he were put on waivers, and the Rays and Sox were tied in the standings, would the Rays get first dibs?

    Also, even if they could somehow acquire him, it's still a gamble for them. The guy has to fly from wherever he is, learn new signs and new teammates, and do it all in a 12 hour period. Of course he could be awesome, but there's a lot of variables involved.

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  6. DRR says:

    This definitely makes me nervous for a Thursday game, but then again I would be nervous no matter what. Chen gives them a better shot than their current options, though.

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  7. Beth says:

    Well, more power to Theo if he can pull this off. I hope KC at least steals a good prospect from them. I agree with a poster above -- Rays need to beat whoever is out there without whining or excuses.

    That said, can we have a good chuckle that apparently the $160 million that the Red Sox spent on salary this year wasn't enough to ensure that they had someone decent available to pitch a single extra game?

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  8. werD says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    This is beyond desperate. I cant believe Boston would pull something like this. Actually...

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