Milwaukee Brewer Trevor Hoffman isn’t available at this year’s trade deadline, but that didn’t stop Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein from asking after the closer he first met while working for the San Diego Padres, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Not remotely effective this season, Hoffman owns a 6.82 ERA over 33 innings and joins a nearly all-inclusive group of relievers that the Red Sox are pursuing in the final days leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline this Saturday.

Today, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reviewed all the relievers the Red Sox have reportedly sought over the past month. The list includes Matt Capps, Scott Downs, Kyle Farnsworth, Mike Gonzalez, Sean Marshall, Will Ohman, Rafael Perez, Kerry Wood, Michael Wuertz, and former Red Sox David Aardsma and Craig Breslow.

True to his word, Epstein has been scouring rosters for available bullpen help. Despite injuries to outfielders, catchers, infielders and starters alike, the Red Sox might would be closer than seven games back in the American League East if they had an effective bullpen.

The 2010 Red Sox pen’s weaker components have blown 14 saves and allowed a Major League-worst 43 homers en route to a 4.42 ERA. This is frighteningly close to the Orioles’ 4.47 mark. Journeyman Scott Atchison (4.05 ERA), trade-candidate Ramon Ramirez (4.57 ERA), flame-thrower Manny Delcarmen (4.86 ERA), and southpaw Hideki Okajima (5.81 ERA) are the primary underperformers.

The Red Sox must make at least one move for a reliever before the deadline if they are to compete through August and into September. The next 48 hours could decide Boston’s 2010 fate.

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