Originally written on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 12/23/11

The Boston Red Sox were in the chase for left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez until the last minute, but were beaten out by a better package from the Washington Nationals. The Nats sent an impressive group of prospects to the Oakland A’s in exchange for Gonzalez and now the Red Sox and new general manager Ben Cherington are said to be scrambling to add a starting pitcher.

Now that the market for pitching has been picked a bit bare by other teams, the remaining options for the Red Sox are not exactly appealing.

On the free agent market, the only guys left worth considering are right-handers Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt, and lefty Joe Saunders. The Sox made a play for righty Rich Harden at the trade deadline but couldn’t get a deal done in time, so there is a chance they could revisit something with him.

Boston could also try to get another hurler by way of a trade, but again the options are limited. The Chicago White Sox could be willing to move righty Gavin Floyd, and the Chicago Cubs are reportedly looking to move Matt Garza.

Meanwhile the Tampa Bay Rays are apparently willing to deal Jeff Niemann or Wade Davis, and maybe even James Shields for the right price. But for the Rays to move one of those guys within the division it would probably take a package of prospects that Boston wouldn’t be willing to deal away.

Boston simply waited too long to make a deal for a starter and now the music has stopped and the Sox don’t seem to have a chair. Guys like Mat Latos and Gonzalez are gone from the market and there are no real impact options left.

Personally I think the Sox will sign one of the four free agents mentioned but they will wait until January when the price will presumably be lower.

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