Ken Rosenthal greeted us this morning with what I find to be an incredibly intriguing bit of rumor. The Red Sox are interested in acquiring a starter for a potential one game playoff against the Rays. At the top of their list? Bruce Chen.
The Rays of course have struggled at times this season against Left Handed pitching and by bringing a starter the Red Sox could avoid using Wakefield or Lackey on just three days rest.
To be blunt the Red Sox are desperate. They are in the midst of one of, if not the, worst September collapse in baseball history. With that being said I don't feel like a trade for Bruce Chen would be as desperate as it would seem on the surface.
Bruce Chen is going to be a type B free agent at the end of the season. As we have seen in the past couple of seasons teams are really starting to understand the true value of compensation picks. Last winter the Blue Jays traded for Miguel Olivo just so they could net a comp pick for him.
For this reason the Royals should absolutely demand at least the equivalent of a 2012 draft Sandwich selection. Quite frankly they should demand just a little more considering, Bruce Chen would be getting the opportunity to salvage the Red Sox season in a one game playoff.
If the Red Sox are willing to pay this price the Royals should absolutely do the deal. Then they could bring back Bruce Chen next season AND receive value for him. As opposed to if they elect to hang on to him, only being able to receive value OR bring him back. You can't get the compensation pick if you resign the player.
Personally I can't see the Red Sox offering the value necessary to make this deal worth it from a Royals perspective. I think they are hoping the Royals don't value the potential pick highly enough and trade Chen for a lottery ticket.
Obviously Chen is slated to be on the hill for the Royals tonight, so the Red Sox better get to work if they truly want to Red Sox nation to be screaming C'mon Chen against the Rays in a couple of days.