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MLB Trade Rumors: If Red Sox Want Scott Downs, It Will Take An 'Elite Prospect'

The Red Sox bullpen has a 4.44 ERA, 11th (out of 14 teams) in the American League, and its 14 blown saves are tied for the second-most in the A.L. this season. In short, Boston's bullpen has been a problem, and it may become a need addressed by Theo and Co. at the trade deadline.

According to WEEI, the Red Sox may be interested in the Blue Jays left-handed reliever Scott Downs, who could essentially serve as a replacement for Hideki Okijima, who has struggled in 2010 with a 5.81 ERA. However, any deal for Downs would likely require giving up an "elite prospect."

The Jays can aim high on Downs in part because he likely will be a Type A free agent following this season, meaning that he could net two draft picks should he reject an arbitration offer and sign elsewhere in free agency, just as was the case with the Sox and Wagner a year ago. Even so, to date, the Sox and other clubs have balked at parting with a top prospect for a middle reliever, leading the source to conclude that any deal involving Downs seems unlikely "until just before the deadline if at all."

Epstein has already gone on record as saying he'd prefer not to deal top prospects for uncertain relief help.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Scott Downs 4-5 46 0 0 0 0 2 41.0 33 12 11 2 10 33 2.41 1.05