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MLB Trade Rumors: Red Sox Reportedly Inquire About A's Rich Harden

The 2011 MLB trade deadline is a week away and the Oakland Athletics find themselves in a position to deal away some veterans. They have been playing decently since the All Star break and have actually climbed out of last place. However, they're still sitting 13 1/2 games out of first place and are 12 games under .500. Barring a huge run this coming week leading up to the trade deadline, they'll likely be selling off spare parts.

Until recently Josh Willingham was the primary player in which teams were interested. Recently though, the Boston Red Sox reportedly inquired about acquiring starting pitcher Rich Harden. The righty missed much of the first half of the season with shoulder issues but has now been back for four starts. His numbers aren't sparkling since returning but he could bring solid depth to many pitching staffs. He's coming off 5 1/3 innings of two run ball against the New York Yankees in which he picked up his second win of the season.

Harden still brings a live arm and would be a big help considering some of the injuries the Red Sox have dealt with in their rotation. Clay Buchholz is working his way back from a back injury and after Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, the Red Sox rotation has a lot of holes. While Harden remains a brittle pitcher he could provide a few key innings down the stretch run.