Just like Curt Schilling’s near no-hitter, the Red Sox will need some help if they hope to complete a perfect season.

The team they have in place right now is obviously pretty good.

But, the bullpen is shaky at best, the back-end of the rotation is suspect and the bench could use a clutch bat or two.

Best thing about it? There are pieces that the Red Sox could trade off to fill these needs.

Here are three bold moves I would attempt to make if I were Theo Epstein, followed by the realistic trade:

Trade #1: Cubs trade Carlos Zambrano and Jacque Jones for Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Wily Mo Pena. Yes, the Sox are trading two promising, young arms in Lester and Buchholz. But, they haven’t proved anything in the big leagues. Zambrano is a stud, period. Add him to Schilling, Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield, and you have an unbelievable rotation. Outside of finances, Jones for Pena is a wash, but Chicago is looking to unload him and this could make the offer more appealing. This probably means the end of Julian Tavarez in a Sox uniform, which should receive a standing ovation. This also keeps the Yankees or Mets from getting Zambrano. Realistic: Pena will be traded to San Diego for relieve Scott Linebrink. Not as sexy, but could be huge. And, then to replace Pena, the Sox will get Jones for Clay Buchholz or Craig Hansen.

Trade #2: Rangers trade Mark Teixeira and Eric Gagne for Mike Lowell, Abe Alvarez and Manny Delcarmen. Again, mortgaging the future with Alvarez and Delcarmen, but the Rangers absolutely need pitching and are looking to rebuild their staff. And to make room for Teixeira at first base, the Sox will need to move Kevin Youkilis to third base and that leaves Lowell as the odd man out. Gagne has obviously been injury proned, but he would be a great set-up guy for Jonathan Papelbon. Imagine Mike Timlin in the seventh, Hideki Okajima and Gagne in the eighth and Papelbon in the ninth. Realistic: Teixeira will get traded next season, as that is his contract year. Gagne may be available, but I doubt Epstein is willing to give up young arms for him.

Trade #3: Cardinals trade Jim Edmonds and Anthony Reyes for Coco Crisp, Kason Gabbard, Craig Hansen and a first-round draft pick. Edmonds is nearing the end of his career, but he can still play great defense and has some pop left in his bat. I think all Sox fans would admit that Crisp has been bit of a disappointment, but he still has market value. St. Louis will need to look at rebuilding and a speedy centerfielder that is built more for the National League (bunting, sacrificing, stealing bases) could be appealing. Reyes helps replace the loss of Lester/Buchholz in terms of future power arms. Also, the Sox may not have to give up Gabbard and Hansen. Realistic: Actually, this one could happen.

So, here is who’s out on the current 25-man roster, if you are bold: Crisp, Lowell and Pena.

Here is who’s in, if you are bold: Zambrano, Jones, Teixeira, Gagne and Edmonds. Because the bullpen is stacked, Tavarez is handed his walking papers, while Kyle Snyder is sent to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Realistically, Edmonds, Linebrink and Jones could be roaming the halls of Fenway Park in July.

Red Sox fans should be excited about Boston’s hot start, but they should also push Red Sox management to not rest on their laurels and allow the Yankees to make moves behind them and take over come September. Adding these guns would allow the team to restock without taking much current talent away.

As Sox fans should know, play for the moment and take what is in front of you. The future guarantees nothing.


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