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Richard staying in rotation or trade bait?

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clayton-richard-ozzie-guillen.jpgDETROIT - The demise of Clayton Richard as a starter to the bullpen may have been highly exaggerated.
Following the left-hander's second consecutive dominant performance on Sunday night, manager Ozzie Guillen admitted that they will now have something to discuss as far as what to do with the southpaw.
Clayton was expected to be heading to the bullpen, joining Matt Thornton as the two lefties down there, but Guillen was now planning to have a discussion with general manager Ken Williams about an alternate plan with Clayton - possibly giving him one more start.
"Last two outings this kid has been great,'' Guillen said after Sunday's win over Detroit. "I've got to sit down with Kenny on the plane ride to Minnesota] and talk about it. See if we have better ideas. What we have to do to keep him in the role, give him another shot. The way he pitched the last couple games he's been great.''
Guillen was then asked if Richard had changed his mind about putting him back in the bullpen.
"To me, yeah. To me,'' he replied. "I'm the boss of the team, the manager, but this team runs by coaches, manager and general manager. We do all things together. [Today] we should have a better idea.
"Right now it seems like we have a six-man rotation, but I don't want to do that. In the meanwhile, this kid is pitching so great, we have to sit down and talk. See what the matchups are going to be and what we need.''
The emergence of Richard could be win-win for the Sox in another way.
If there is a front-line pitcher out there to be had, Richard's stock is through the ceiling right now and he could be part of a package for the Sox to land a No. 1 or 2.
Arizona is rumored to have told Williams no twice in the attempts to land ace Dan Haren, but the growth of Richard could help pry Haren loose at this point.
As far as Richard is concerned, the big difference in what he's doing now has to do with him just loosening up.
"There's some factors that go into it,'' Richard said. "I just realized that baseball is a fun game and why not have fun when I'm playing it?''
With Bartolo Colon back in the mix, and Freddy Garcia throwing three scoreless innings for Class A Kannapolis Sunday night, all of a sudden the Sox have multiple options for the starting rotation.
When's the last time they could brag about that?

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Haren would be a half-season rental, right? No thanks when you consider the long term.

It also makes no sense to sit a kid with this kind of potential (and, after his last two outings, plus a couple of previous games, no one can deny he doesn't have a huge upside) in favor of any of the three veterans (Colon, Contreras & Garcia) who are shakey (at best) and all in the twilight of their major league careers. Richard is still in the upward learning curve that creates an outstanding starter. The other three are hanging on to prolong their careers.

Payroll should also be a consideration. I don't know what Colon and Garcia are receiving in compensation, but it is surely much more than the kid in his second year. Contreras' contract is pure folly. His performance (even on his good days) is worth nowhere near his compensation. The sooner he is gone, the more quality we can add somewhere else to the team. Contreras' salary says he's worth about 50 Richards. Anyone believe that?

Clayton has so much upside as a starter and he is now showing it. Ozzie and Coop should not remove him from the rotation to put another southpaw in the pen. I say trade either Contreras and/or Colon for another southpaw reliever. Both are clearly on the downside of their careers. GO SOX!!!!

the right thing to do here is keep richard in the rotation and make colon the 8th inning setup guy...its not fair to richard to keep jerking him around, and colon's best chance to get another 3 or 4 years out of his career is to reinvent himself as a setup guy or closer..and god knows we need an 8th inning guy right now..if not a ninth inning guy..

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