Currently the Red Sox magic number is 98 but that will probably change today. You would think I'd mention the average body temperature being 98 degrees but I want to mention a different 98 that will also probably change today.
Elias points out that the last player to reach Will Middlebrooks numbers of .331 BA / 9 HR / and 33 RBI though their first 40 games was Albert Pujols. And as good as Middlebrooks has been - lets not get carried away comparing him to certain Hall of Famers such as Pujols. In all honesty - Middlebrooks is not even close to being the AL ROY at this point. That honor belongs to Mike Trout of the Angels.
Getting back to the number 98 - that's also the number of career runs scored for 25-year old Josh Reddick (a number that could easily change today). What does Reddick have to do with Middlebrooks? Besides being highly touted Red Sox prospects both Middlebrooks and Reddick have been hitting HR at the exact same rate of 1 HR every 15.8 AB this season. Let's remember Reddick as a reminder of how bad the last few deals by the Red Sox have been (Reddick for Bailey, Lowrie for Melancon, Scutaro for nothing) as we wait for the Red Sox to move the guy Middlebrooks is replacing - Kevin Youkilis.
Although to be completely honest - just getting Youkilis out of town in and of it self would be a good trade for the Red Sox at this point.