Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington wasn't engaging in doublespeak when he said that all trades don't fit neatly into a "buyer's" bucket or "seller's" bucket. There are deals that a team can make that could help in the short term to bolster a team back in contention, but are designed more for their potential long-term impact.

or example: With their outfield the weakest in the major leagues offensively (.635 OPS), the Sox could use another bat. If they were contenders, they might consider making a run at Rangers outfielder Alex Rios, the 33-year-old veteran who bats from the right side -- matching Boston's need -- and took a .305/.336/.434/.770 slash line into play Friday.

Rios has hit just three home runs this season, even playing in homer-happy The Ballpark in Arlington, after hitting 25 just two seasons ago. The Rangers, who have been decimated with injuries and are suffering no illusions of climbing back in the race, will almost certainly move Rios, who will have roughly $4 million left on his contract this season, with a $13.5 million team option next season ($1 million buyout).

The Rangers will expect at least one good prospect in exchange for Rios, much like the one they traded to the White Sox when they dealt for Rios at the 2013 deadline: 23-year-old shortstop Leury Garcia, who was ranked as the Rangers' 20th-best prospect by Baseball America in 2013 and is on Chicago's big league roster as an infield reserve.