As reported over the past few days, it is now confirmed that now former Red Sox shortstop, Marco Scutaro will be headed to the Colorado Rockies, according to ESPNBoston. The Rockies look like they've found their solution at second base.
Scutaro, who is 36 years old, has been on the Red Sox since 2010. He has proven to be a very consistent part of the bottom of their lineup, hitting .275 in 2010 and .299 in 2011, Scutaro's option was supposedly picked up from Boston, meaning he'd have earned $6 million in 2012.
However, it seems that Ben Cherington had other plans. Thus, the Rockies found their man.
In return, the Boston Red Sox acquired a former first-round sandwich draft pick in 2007, Clayton Mortensen. Mortensen, in three MLB seasons, has a career earned run average of 5.12 to go with a 4-8 record. He's coming off of a 2-4 record with a 3.86 ERA last season. He has worked both as a starting pitcher and a relief pitcher throughout his career.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweeted that Mortensen will be viewed as a starting pitcher competing for a rotation spot at spring training. He will join the ranks of Aaron Cook, Vincent Padilla, Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard and Carlos Silva as potential starting pitchers.
Scutaro, on the other hand, will be the Rockies new starting second baseman, a position he has been playing inconsistently.
Evaluating this trade from the Red Sox perspective, you can't help but scratch your head in confusion as to why they would trade their starting shortstop away. To answer anyone who is unaware, this trade simply rids the Red Sox of a $6 million contract to make room to sign either Roy Oswalt or outfielder Cody Ross.
What Do You Think of this Move for Boston
On the surface, it seems to be a smart acquisition, but it is hard to be excited about leaving another gap in your lineup and depth chart. Much like the right field position, the shortstop position will now be occupied by Mike Aviles and Nick Punto, until Jose Iglesias is ready to join the club toward the end of the season.
This would not be as problematic if the right field position was already in serious question, being given to Darnell McDonald, Aviles and eventually Ryan Kalish.
Leaving two question marks in your field is not something of admiration, especially if it is only to bring in another starting pitcher, Roy Oswalt. If Scutaro's trade leads to a new outfielder joining the fray, it will not be as bad.
However, do not get your hopes up for a breakout year for the average Clayton Mortensen. Despite being picked 36th overall in 2007, Mortensen brings an average presence to the table, despite having a good sinker.
With time and training, he could be a reliable asset, but hopes shouldn't be high for him to make much of a difference in 2012.
Determining whether this was a good trade for Boston will all depend on what is next. Do they go out and bring in another starting pitcher or do they go out and fill the right field spot with a cheap quality player?
Honestly, if this is all to make room for Oswalt, I can't help but be upset that we got rid of such a quality shortstop in Scutaro.
This move will be what Ben Cherington makes of it. He made some space financially and whatever the Red Sox end up signing is essentially what they get in return for our shortstop.
If the Sox can get an option better than Scutaro offensively for the outfield, it will be a pretty smart trade, but adding another pitcher would be a head-scratcher of a move, if not anything else.
It will certainly be interesting to see where Cherington goes from here, but if it is anywhere but where I mentioned, this was not a good trade by any stretch of the imagination.
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