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Sox Score Big At The Deadline

Sox Score Big At The Deadline
By: Jeremy Garden

The Red Sox desperately needed a big bat in their lineup. What did they do? They added Cleveland Indians slugging catcher and first baseman Victor Martinez. He’s an impact player in the middle of the lineup who will give the Sox a lot of flexibility.

The Sox traded Justin Masterson and minor league pitchers Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price. The trade came shortly before the 4 p.m. ET making the Red Sox big winners at the trading deadline. Martinez gives the Sox a big bat in the middle of the lineup. And they did not have to part with any of their top prospects.

Red Sox GM Theo Epstein held his ground and held on to top prospect Clay Buchholz. It would have been tempting to trade him because of the available stars on the trading block. Roy Halladay and Adrian Gonzalez were for the taking. But, the Sox addressed their big need by acquiring a great player and only had to give up one player on the Major League roster.
Justin Masterson provided flexibility to give the Sox innings in the bullpen. However, he was a luxury on this team. Masterson is superb against right handed hitters but could not get lefties out with any consistency. That is why he was moved from a starter to the pen. His role on this team long term was not promising, but now he has a chance to prove himself in Cleveland. Sources out of Cleveland have said they think he can step right in and become their 3rd starter.

Now look at what the Sox have. Victor Martinez will be their cleanup hitter. He’s switch hitting catcher who will play some first base and designated hitter. That means more time off for Jason Varitek, Mike Lowell, and David Ortiz. All are veterans with a lot of frequent flyer miles. Of course, that means egos must be checked at the door. But, this is a veteran ball club with October in mind.

They struggled after the break and the recent news of Ortiz’s link to performance enhancing drugs. However, things are starting to coming into place for the Red Sox. They have improved their club dramatically with Victor Martinez and a minor move by swapping Adam Larouche for Casey Kotchman. But, more importantly the Yankees did not address their need of pitching depth. The only move they made was trading for utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. It’s a nice small move but the Yankees needed a 4th or a 5th starter to add to the club. Joba Chamberlain’s innings are being counted and Andy Pettitte could breakdown at any point.

Well, it is August 1st, 2009. This is the start of the second third of the season. Every team knows what they have for the stretch run. It is time for the players and coaches to do their job on the field. The Red Sox are 1.5 games out of the division with a lot of baseball to play. Theo did his job yesterday of putting the Sox in a position to make the postseason and make a serious run at another title.

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