With Jacoby Ellsbury expected to be activated from the disabled list as soon as today and Carl Crawford likely to join the Red Sox next week, teams are looking to take the Boston’s excess outfielders off their hands.

A club source said the Red Sox are “open-minded” about trading away an outfielder and that “teams have called on several of them.”

In recent days, the names heard most frequently as being trade bait have been Ryan Sweeney and Daniel Nava. Scott Podsednik is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Ryan Kalish is back in Triple-A and is widely considered to be part of the club’s 2013 plans, if not sooner. Because Cody Ross is a right-handed power bat that has fit in well with the club’s needs, he likely is the outfielder the team would be most reluctant to deal.

The stock of the switch-hitting Nava is particularly high, with his improved defense and significant offensive contributions.

Sweeney’s name popped up during the All-Star Game as being shopped around, but the club source said the Sox are “not looking to move Sweeney.”

The Cubs are not interested in Sweeney, but they have two starting pitchers, Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster, about whom the Red Sox are expected to inquire. A major league source said the Sox have expressed preliminary interest in Garza and Dempster, but he added that they are “not fully engaged yet.”


IF ELLSBURY IS activated for tonight’s game against the Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., one corresponding move could be sending infielder Mauro Gomez back to Triple-A Pawtucket. Gomez has been filling in at third base for Will Middlebrooks, but Middlebrooks is expected to be back in the lineup. …

Clay Buchholz, still on the disabled list, is listed as the probable starter Saturday. The likely move when he is activated would be sending Justin Germano back to the minor leagues. …

The pitching matchups for the Tampa Bay series are Franklin Morales vs. Jeremy Hellickson today, Buchholz vs. David Price on Saturday, and Josh Beckett against James Shields on Sunday. …

Here’s some encouraging news for Saturday’s game against left-hander Price: Boston’s .667 winning percentage (18-9) against left-handed starters is the best in the majors.


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