As the Red Sox and Cubs continue talking about compensation for GM Theo Epstein, one name has filtered out as to whom Boston wants.
The Red Sox are reportedly focusing on starting pitching prospect Trey McNutt, a 22-year-old who is the best pitching prospect in Chicago's system but a clear step down from top prospect Brett Jackson, as CSNChicago.com writes. Jackson, a center fielder, has already been ruled out as potential compensation for Epstein, who is expected to be named Chicago's new GM in the next two days, prior to the World Series starting.
McNutt had blister problems in 2011 and finished with a 4.55 ERA in Double-A Tennessee over 95 innings. He struck out 65 and walked 39 a year after breaking out, splitting 2010 between two Class A levels and Double-A. All told, the righty punched out 132 batters in 116 1/3 minor-league innings last season, walking 37 and checking in with a 2.48 ERA in 25 starts.
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McNutt has a chance to be part of the rotation for the Cubs in 2012, which could scuttle discussions, but that's also the same reason why Boston would want McNutt. The Red Sox are severely lacking in upper-minors pitching depth and McNutt would be a major boost and could even potentially win the No. 5 starter's job out of spring training, although he more likely figures to be a late-season option.
Two prospects in total are expected to be part of the package heading to Boston.
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