Saturday, August 1, 2009

Trade Deadline Moves

The Victor Martinez acquisition by the Red Sox will benefit the team tremendously. He's a great hitter from both sides of the plate, can play catcher and 1B, and brings some much needed thump to the lineup. He's known as an excellent game caller behind the plate, but supposedly isn't great at throwing out runners. Defensively, that scouting report seems similar to current Sox catcher Jason Varitek.

I'd like to see the Sox play Martinez behind the plate - a lot. Varitek historically wears down at the end of the year, and this year seems to be no exception. There are rumblings that he's had a bum left shoulder which has dogged his hitting for the last month. However, I doubt Sox manager Terry Francona will do that; instead he'll create a log jam at 1B and DH. Tito's loyal to a fault to his guys.

The Sox gave up young minor leaguers Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price. They are both a long way from the majors. No big deal there. It's too bad that they had to trade Justin Masterson, who was untouchable this time last year. Masterson has had some struggles this year, particularly against lefties, and projects to be a set up man out of the bullpen.

Despite the Red Sox claiming that the second trade gives them more flexibility and consistency off the bench, the trade of 1B Adam "We Hardly Knew Ye" LaRoche to the Braves for 1B Casey Kotchman makes no sense. LaRoche wasn't in Boston long, but I really liked him from what I saw. He can hit. Kotchman is a better defensive 1B than LaRoche, but isn't the power hitter that LaRoche is. To me, LaRoche is the better player. I'm definitely disappointed by this trade.

Looking at the big picture, the Red Sox definitely improved themselves with the Martinez acquisition, but what's even better is the Yankees didn't do much other than acquiring journeyman Jerry Hairson, Jr. from the Reds as infield depth.

Feathers may be ruffled in the Sox clubhouse due to some players (Varitek, Ortiz, and Lowell) sitting out games, but Victor Martinez will definitely give the Sox offense a shot in the arm and make it more consistent.

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