In a previous entry, I mentioned how the 2013 Boston Red Sox were lacking in having much speed coming off the bench. It appears as though the Red Sox fixed that need. Ben Cherington must have read my entry. Kidding, totally kidding.
Boston traded Clayton Mortensen to the Kansas City Royals for Quintin Berry. Berry isn’t much of a hitter, however, he can flat out fly on the basepaths, and that is exactly what Boston needed. Daniel Nava as your primary speed threat off the bench just isn’t going to scare anyone. Mortensen was a nice pitcher, and apparently recently was pitching very well in the starting rotation of Pawtucket, but Boston really could use a speed merchant, and Berry definitely meets that need. Berry hasn’t played in the majors this year, but last year he played for the Detroit Tigers and stole 21 bases in 21 attempts. That’s a pretty impressive stat, no matter how you look at it. It shows that not only is he very fast, but he is smart on the basepaths. Being a good baserunner is just as important as being a fast one.
The plan appears to be that Berry is going to be used almost exclusively as a pinch runner in September and perhaps in October, assuming that Boston gets there. Because he is part of the organization at this point, he is eligible to be on the 40-man roster, and therefore can be used in the postseason. This is a good pickup. Boston really didn’t give up all that much, as Mortensen didn’t really factor into any future plans, and Berry could really be a weapon off the bench in an important game.
There seemed to be a time in 2004 that an outfielder with great speed was quietly acquired by Boston; that seemed to work out pretty well.