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Arms Race

By Benjy Lipsman on Jul 26, 2005 6:28PM

Baseball's trading deadline is less than a week away, and neither Chicago team has made a big move yet. However, daily rumors surround the Sox and a number of high profile pitchers that are on the block.

2005_07_sports_burnett_schmidt.jpgThe two biggest names mentioned, in terms of starting pitchers, are A.J. Burnett and Jason Schmidt. While a deal sending Burnett to Baltimore looked like a done deal a few days ago, that deal has fallen apart and the Sox seem to now be the front runner. A deal for the Marlin pitcher would likely cost the Sox Brandon McCarthy and Damaso Marte. Because Burnett is a free agent at the end of the season, the Sox would ask for a 72 hour window to negotiate a contract extension before finalizing the deal -- like they did with Freddy Garcia last year. Kenny Williams doesn't want to give up a top left-handed reliever and the Sox top pitching prospect for a "rental" player.

Williams was spotted scouting the San Francisco Giants last night as they played the Cubs at Wrigley -- fueling speculation about a trade for Schmidt, or possibly for Scott Eyre as a southpaw replacement if Marte goes to Florida.

While the Sox are making some high profile runs at starting pitchers, the Cubs may also be in the market for a starter with the news that Kerry Wood has been placed on the DL again and will pitch out of the bullpen upon his return. Chicagoist isn't sure that the Cubs need to make such a move, though. We've been impressed by Glendon Rusch's starts and would shift back to the rotation. Or even look into starting Ryan Dempster again -- if Woods is effective enough out of the bullpen to use a closer. Boston has been doing just that with Curt Schilling recently...