Oakland has Stephen Drew now, but at the time, the A's were looking at the Sox's Mike Aviles, according to MLB.com's Peter Gammons. In turn, Boston asked for left-handed starter Brett Anderson, who was still on the rehab trail from Tommy John surgery.
Nothing came to fruition, and a look at Anderson's two starts since coming back show why.
The 24-year-old has allowed one run in two seven-inning victories, the first over the Twins and the second over the Indians, with 11 strikeouts and just two walks to boot. Coincidentally, Anderson's final start before going for Tommy John surgery last summer came against the Sox, who knocked him around for five runs in as many innings.
That was on June 5, 2011, when the A's and Red Sox were in very different places.
Anderson is scheduled to face the Sox again Sunday, in the finale of a three-game series at the Oakland Coliseum. Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka goes for the Red Sox, who still appear in disarray across the board, despite last weekend's house-cleaning trade.
Boston's dropped its last five games overall, and since Aug. 2, seven of nine series. The A's, meanwhile, enter Sunday with a Major League-leading eight straight wins -- their season high -- plus a Wild Card spot in the American League and a chance for the sweep.
Before Saturday's 7-1 loss to Oakland, Sox manager Bobby Valentine said he's looking simply for "good play," but then his team nearly had a skirmish in the dugout.
"Hope for guys to keep building their individual statistics and hope that they collectively build the team statistics," Valentine said beforehand. "I think we're going to win a lot of games this last month."
"Why shouldn't I think that?" Valentine continued. "Because I'm the manager of the team and we get paid to play and win and I believe that we're going to win."
That was before Alfredo Aceves and Dustin Pedroia got into a tense exchange after the fourth inning, when Aceves called off catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia at the last minute on a foul pop and made three pickoff throws to second base, two of which Pedroia didn't seem to be expecting.
Contrast that with the A's, who have won more than seven straight for the first time since June 2006, when they won 10 in a row.
"We're proud of the fact we're in the position we're in," A's manager Bob Melvin said, "but we don't want to get too far out there in thinking about too many things that could be a distraction for us."
The A's are a season-high 18 games over the .500 mark. Two months ago, they were four games below .500.
Red Sox: Dice-K enters likely final month with Sox
Matsuzaka was excellent in his first start off the disabled list and just his sixth start this year on Monday. The right-hander went seven innings and held the Royals to five hits and one unearned run in a 5-1 win. He struck out six and walked two.
"My body right now feels a lot better than it did before I had Tommy John [surgery], and my body feels better than it did back in June," said Matsuzaka, who went on the DL in July with a right trapezius strain after coming back from the operation.
Matsuzaka threw 101 pitches, and the remainder of this month serves as an audition for free agency, both in performance and durability. His health has been a constant problem in his six years with the Sox, who have money to spend this winter but would also have to be weary of re-signing him.
James Loney's hit streak to start his Red Sox career ended Saturday night at six games. He went 0-for-3.
A's: Inge done for season
Brandon Inge's return to the A's lasted just three innings, as the third baseman dislocated his right shoulder while throwing out Pedro Ciriaco. After a one-hop throw to first, Inge was seen shaking his right arm.
Inge managed to record a two-run double in the bottom half of the frame, but he didn't take the field in the fourth. After the game was over, it was announced he would undergo season-ending surgery.
Of Boston's 28 remaining games, 17 are on the road.
The A's have won nine of their last 10 home games and are 41-27 (.597) at home. Saturday's win gave them a guaranteed winning record at home for a third consecutive season.