Saturday, July 31, 2010

Minor dealings

In the end, the Red Sox only made two small moves at the trade deadline. This wasn't all that surprising, given how little press had been devoted to legitimate trade rumors involving the team. Neither of the trades will help the team in 2010, and while they're not exactly waiving the white flag, it is hard to view them as serious contenders at this point, especially given the Yankees' additions. Of course, a nice run with a healthy lineup could change that.

In a straight 1-1 trade with the Giants, the Sox traded away Ramon Ramirez and picked up AA relief prospect Daniel Turpen. Turpen currently has a 4.04 ERA in AA, although he did pitch extremely well in 2009 across multiple levels. Not exactly a stud prospect, but Turpin was in San Francisco's top 40 entering the season. Ramon Ramirez wasn't able to reproduce the success he had with the Red Sox in 2009 when he posted a 2.84 ERA in nearly 70 innings. Along with Manny Delcarmen, who was also on the trading block but not moved, Ramirez contributed to a mediocre middle relief core, which had been a strength last year. Of course, if you actually look at the underlying numbers, the main difference between the 2009 version of Ramon Ramirez and the 2010 version is luck. In 2009 he was lucky, in 2010 wasn't. His strikeout rate, walk rate, and groundball rate all were similar in the two years.

In another trade, the Red Sox sent starting pitcher Roman Mendez, first base prospect Chris McGuiness, a player to be named later, and cash to the Rangers for perpetual prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Since being a top 25 prospect in the Braves system and being the headliner for their Mark Teixeira deal, Saltalamacchia has struggled with injuries, ineffectiveness, and even a bit of Steve Blass disease in AAA this spring. The deal obviously depends on who the player to be named later is and how much cash is involved, but it doesn't appear like they gave up too much in this deal. Mendez has the ceiling to be a major league pitcher, but has struggled this year in the Sally League. McGuiness, who was also in the Sally League, was putting up very nice numbers in A ball this year (.298/.416/.504), but that is to be expected for a 22 year old polished college hitter. He was also fairly well blocked in the Red Sox farm system, with Anthony Rizzo at AA despite being a year younger and Lars Anderson at AAA, despite only being six months older. It isn't a bad price to pay for someone who could be your catcher of the future, but Saltalamacchia is hardly a sure thing. On the bright side, at least the Red Sox didn't trade Jon Lester to the Braves for Saltalamacchia, way back when.

Instead of addressing depth issues through trades, it looks like the Red Sox will try and use their farm system instead. Top outfield prospect Ryan Kalish was called up this afternoon, taking Jeremy Hermida's spot on the roster, and started in left field, going 2/4 with a run and a RBI. Starting pitching prospects Michael Bowden and Felix Doubront, a lefty, have been transitioned to the bullpen for the remainder of the season and will likely get some big league appearances. With the roster spot that was opened up by the Ramon Ramirez deal, the Sox called up left handed reliever Dustin Richardson. Finally, although the regular trade deadline has passed, the Sox may be able to add useful players through the waiver process, which is awfully complicated. The general gist of it is that if a player is expensive, the Red Sox may be able to snag him.

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