The Boston Red Sox have completed a trade that sent shortstop Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for right-handed pitcher Clayton Mortensen. Mortensen has been a bit of a journeyman in his 4 years in the majors, as he was originally drafted by St. Louis, who sent him to Oakland as part of their deal for Matt Holliday. Oakland subsequently shipped him to Colorado for a minor-leaguer, and now Mortensen lands in Boston. Last year, Mortensen went 2-4 with a 3.86 ERA in his 16 appearances, 6 of which were starts.
Scutaro is known as a defensive specialist and filled a need the Red Sox had at shortstop, but Boston’s focus has now turned to freeing up cash to pursue a big-named free agent , such as Roy Osawlt. That, in addition to the fact that the Sox have several viable options at shortstop, including Mike Aviles, Nick Punto and young defensive phenom Jose Iglesias already on the depth chart, left Scutaro as the odd-man out. The Red Sox see Iglesias as their shortstop of the future, but are aware that he needs work at the plate before he is ready for everyday big league action. By grooming him to take over the position, Boston is hoping to stop the revolving-door they have had a shortstop for the last several seasons.
After their epic collapse last year, Boston has dedicated themselves to improving their depth at starting pitcher, and they obviously felt this move would put them on the path to achieving that goal. Seeing that it is Boston, don’t be surprised if they make another splash or two in the free-agent market or with a few more trades. As of yesterday morning, RedSox.com indicated that the club is close to a deal with free-agent outfielder Cody Ross. The Ross acquisition fills yet another need after Carl Crawford’s wrist surgery leaves him questionable for the start of the season.
Boston has also agreed to a one year deal with pitcher Daniel Bard, effectively avoiding arbitration.