On Wednesday, the Boston Red Sox acquired center fielder Mark Kotsay from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor-league outfielder Luis Sumoza.
Boston and Atlanta finalized the deal four days before the eligibility deadline for postseason rosters on Aug. 31.
Atlanta manager Bobby Cox scratched Kotsay from Tuesday's starting lineup as a precaution. An injury to Kotsay would have jeopardized, if not terminated, the pending deal with the Red Sox.
Boston hopes that the acquisition of Kotsay will help soften the blow of losing All-Star MVP J.D. Drew to the 15-day DL.
Also, Kotsay should add some pop to a Red Sox outfield that is sorely missing Manny Ramirez’s power bat. Kotsay is currently batting .289 with six home runs and 37 RBI on the season.
After San Diego Padres outfielder Brian Giles rejected a trade to Boston, the Red Sox set their eyes on Atlanta’s Kotsay.
In return for Kotsay, the Braves receive 20-year old outfielder Luis Sumoza in the deal. Sumoza, a native Venezuelan, is batting .301 with 11 home runs for Class A Lowell in 51 games this season.
The Braves acquired Kotsay from the Oakland Athletics for relief pitcher Joey Devine prior to this season. Kotsay was brought in to fill the void left by Andruw Jones in center field and to serve as a bridge between Jones and top prospect Jordon Schafer.
However, Atlanta's disappointing season has led GM Fran Wren to start re-building for 2009, trading first baseman Mark Teixeria to the Los Angeles Angels and Kotsay to the Boston Red Sox.
Teixeria and Kotsay will be both be free agents at the conclusion of the 2008 MLB season.
When asked about leaving Atlanta from Boston, Kotsay responded, "If that's the case, if I'm moved to a club that has postseason possibilities, you can't be disappointed as a player. I’ve had a lot of fun here, and I've been happy with Bobby (Cox) and the organization."
Kotsay is expected to join the Red Sox in New York for Wednesday’s game against the Yankees.