ESPN baseball analyst J.P. Ricciardi joined The Big Show on Thursday and shed light on Saturday's MLB trade deadline. He noted that Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has a couple of areas to address.
"I think he's definitely looking at relief pitching. I don't think there's any doubt about that," Ricciardi said. "I think they've been in on a lot of good guys. I think that the price tag is really high right now, so I think they're trying to address their relief pitching. I think they're trying to add one more bat, which may be in the outfield because their outfield is still banged up. I think they're getting everyday players back like [Victor] Martinez, and ultimately their lineup will start to get together a little bit more, but I think they're going to need one more bat, which I think they'll try to get.
"They might have as much luck on the waiver wire when guys start going through waivers -- maybe [more] luck than what guys are asking for right now [in] straight-up trades."
As for the Yankees, who currently lead the Red Sox by seven games, Ricciardi said they may try to make a deal that puts the Rays and Sox away for good.
"I think they'll try to get some bullpen help. I think they're going to really try to deliver a knockout punch and try to get an Adam Dunn," Ricciardi said. "I don't know if it will happen, but I think if they can put that type of bat in their lineup it finishes off their lineup and it may deliver a knockout punch to the division."
Johnny Damon will return to the stadium he once called home on Friday when the Tigers roll into town for the weekend. Ricciardi had high praise for the former Sox center fielder and leadoff man.
"I think he's had a great career. I think he's a Hall of Famer. I do. I think two more years of Johnny Damon playing at the pace he's at, he's a Hall of Famer," Ricciardi said. "I think he's going to have over 1,000 runs batted in. Top leadoff guy, big on-base guy, has played with some great teams, was a World Series champ a couple of times. I think Johnny Damon is a borderline guy right now but two more solid years and I think he's a Hall of Famer."
For more on the Red Sox, go to weei.com/redsox.
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