The Sox did end up pulling off a pretty sizeable trade at the deadline. Any time a playoff team gets a player to bat third in their line-up, without giving up key pieces it’s a huge trade. In Victor Martinez, the Sox were able to add an all-star who can play a few positions for them. It adds significant depth to the line-up, and allows plenty of flexibility for Terry Francona. I’d say it was a pretty great move.
I was hoping for a blockbuster, and while this wasn’t exactly it, it was a great deal. It does a lot for the Sox, with very little downside. It will be interesting to see how Francona approaches it. Will it be a strict rotation between Martinez, Ortiz, Varitek, Youkilis, and Lowell? Does Varitek now only catch 3 out of 5 games? Is Lowell slated for 3 out of 5 as well? Does Ortiz sit against lefties? Assuming Tito can keep everyone happy, that flexibility does a lot for the Sox. Lowell needed more rest than he was getting. Who knows…maybe his rest will be a couple weeks at a time with DL stints. Varitek’s not as young as he used to. Assuming he can swallow even more pride, he could use an extra day off as well. The best part is, that whichever one of the five that isn’t playing can be a big boost off the bench. If I had a choice between Mark Kotsay, or Mike Lowell as a pinch hitter, I like the Lowell option.
Beyond the flexibility, Martinez can flat out hit. He’s not exactly a utility guy just brought in for versatility. He’s now second on the team in RBI, and proved over the weekend he can hit a ton. If he only helped at one position, it would be a great pick-up for the offense alone. Remember, he was an all-star catcher…without being a very good defensive catcher. This isn’t adding Jerry Hairston here.
I also love the way the Red Sox could flaunt their depth. They had the chips to trade away to acquire a current all-star, and most of Red Sox Nation was thankful that they didn’t give up their good prospects. Personally, I liked Justin Masterson. I liked his make-up. I liked that he already has shown that he can pitch, and be effective. Given the choice between him and Buchholz, I may have tossed a coin. The point is, that the Sox could make that coin flip. The traded away a guy who may slide immediately into the #3 starter role, but considered it a small price. Amazing. That the Sox could make a trade for Martinez, and be left with enough chips that they could still trade for whomever they wanted is amazing. It’s exactly what a farm system is supposed to be about.
This may be the first deadline that I’ll give Theo high marks for. A Cliff Lee or Halliday move may have been nice. But, he added a great player, without losing one. That’s a pretty good day in my book.
It should be a fun couple of months.
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