Justin Masterson - AP PhotoWith three days until the July 31 MLB trade deadline, there’s been a lot of rumors afloat involving the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians, and recently the San Diego Padres.

First the buzz was all about 2003 Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay (he finished second in voting in 2008), but general manager J.P. Ricciardi has said he didn’t want to trade him within the American League East.

Next there’s been talk about Boston unleashing a blockbuster trade to acquire both left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee and catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez from the Indians.

Now the rumor mill has headed all of the way out to California involving first baseman Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres.

Trading away Gonzalez would not make Padres fans too happy, since he is the face of the franchise, but at this point, management probably doesn’t care. San Diego is sitting in dead last, 24.5 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West.

This is probably the most far fetched and more likely will not happen.

The blockbuster trade for Lee and Martinez? Say good-bye to the entire Red Sox farm system/emerging stars of Lars Anderson, Michael Bowden, Daniel Bard, Justin Masterson, and Clay Buchholz.

But what about Halladay besides not trading with the East? It’s been reported on The Boston Globe’s Extra Bases Blog that Boston has offered Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, and Ryan Westmoreland (that’s quite a last name) for the 32-year-old.

Sounds like Boston is still in it.

Bottom line, whatever happens Sox general manager Theo Epstein should not part with Masterson or Bard.

Masterson has also proven himself clutch worthy in the post-season at a very young age and that is hard to find these days. In the American League Division and Championship Series against the Los Angeles Angels and Tampa Bay Rays, Masterson allowed one earned run per series, had nine strikeouts total, and picked up a win. His playoff ERA is 1.86 and he is only 24-years-old.

Bard is a rising star that may be the future closer is Jonathan Papelbon decided to sign somewhere else. The kid can throw heat, clocking triple digits. Can anyone name another Boston pitcher who threw 100 mph?

If Buchholz must be traded, Boston must get Halladay or the Lee/Martinez package in return or it will be a mistake.

Let the buzz continue.

Amanda Bruno is a freelance sportswriter for The Springfield Republican and also writes weekly features for the Plus Papers on Wednesdays. She also writes over at Batter-up with Bruno where she shares her thoughts about the Boston Red Sox and the Boston sports media. You can follow her on Twitter @batterupbruno and can reach Amanda through email at brunosportshawk[at]gmail.com.