Boston Red Sox Acquire OF Jeremy Hermida as Insurance

Jeffrey BrownAnalyst INovember 9, 2009

The Red Sox have acquired OF Jeremy Hermida from the Florida Marlins in exchange for minor league left-handers Jose Alvarez and Hunter Jones.

Hermida was the Marlins first round pick (11th overall) back in 2002. He has been a starter for The Fish since 2006 and is a career .265 hitter, with 57 HR… this past season he hit .259, with 13 home runs in 129 games.

It would seem the trade for Hermida may be designed to serve as insurance in case the Red Sox can not sign free agents Jason Bay or Matt Holliday this offseason…although, quite frankly, the newly-acquired outfielder seems more well-suited to serve as a fourth outfielder than a regular.

Red Sox Nation may remember that Hermida was among those players who were reportedly on the Red Sox short list last year when they began shopping Manny Ramirez.

When GM Theo Epstein and the Red Sox ownership finally gave up on the mercurial Ramirez, reports abounded that the club was discussing trade scenarios with Florida that would have brought either Hermida or OF Josh Willingham to Boston… ultimately, the Sox decided on a multi-team deal that brought OF Jason Bay to The Hub.

Of last week’s trade, Epstein said: “When you acquire a player, sometimes you acquire them because you think that with a change of scenery they’ll reach their potential. Things never came together for (Hermida) in the big leagues.

"That’s not uncommon for young players. He’s about to turn 26, coming into his prime…it may not happen (for him). It may not happen with us. Certainly we liked him a lot as an amateur and throughout his minor league career, so (we think) it was a reasonable deal.”

Marlins GM Larry Beinfest said: “(Jeremy) had a lot of opportunity here. Given his talent level, I think the expectation was for more. Hopefully he’ll realize it elsewhere.”

Jones obviously was not going to be a part of the Red Sox long-term plan in the bullpen, though he is expected to compete for a spot in the Marlins bullpen in 2010. He went 4-3, 4.25, in 36 games for the Pawtucket Red Sox last season…he compiled a 9.24 ERA in 11 relief appearances with the Red Sox.

Alvarez, 20, is another story…he will almost assuredly prove to be the Marlins' haul in this trade. The southpaw went 9-4, 2.26, in Class A this past season…he struck out 74 while walking only 16 in 107 2/3 innings. He has a 3.21 ERA in four professional seasons.

Regardless, he is an A-ball pitcher and the Sox can afford to trade a low minor leaguer in exchange for someone with Hermida’s potential and big league experience—especially in consideration of the Bay/Holliday situation.

An NL general manager told ESPN’s Peter Gammons: “Someday, somewhere, Hermida is going to figure it out. He’s expensive ($2.25 million/year) for most teams, but at 25 years of age he is a great gamble for Boston.”