Thursday, December 08, 2005

Last day leads to big trades in Red Sox Nation

The big news out of the winter meetings for baseball's execs is the moving of SS Renteria (Gordon Edes of the Globe) for prospect Andy Marte and 2B Mark Loretta coming to Boston for back up catcher Doug Mirabelli.

The Red Sox will need a new shortstop as of today. According to one report, $11 of the $29 million owed to Rent-a-wreck over the next three years will be paid by the Red Sox. The trade was for Andy Marte who happens to be the number one prospect in the minors today.

Seems like a good trade to me, but now they need a new SS (Nomar, anyone? ;-))

From the Boston Globe: The Sox dealt Renteria and cash considerations to Atlanta today in exchange for top prospect Andy Marte (third baseman). Commissioner Bud Selig needed to OK the money exchanging hands between the teams. The Red Sox are expected to pick up part of the $29 million remaining on Renteria’s contract over the next three years. The exact dollars are still unclear, but the commissioner needs to approve any deal in which $1 million or more exchanges hands.

The Red Sox are now expected to sign a free-agent shortstop to replace Renteria rather than pursue a trade with the Devil Rays for Julio Lugo, as had been rumored the last couple of days here at the winter meetings.

Some likely candidates to fill Renteria's shoes include Alex Gonzalez, Royce Clayton, and Pokey Reese.

Doug Mirabelli has been moved to San Diego for Mark Loretta. Loretta has a lifetime avg of .301 (.280 this past year) and an OBP .365. The big concern here is Doug Mirabelli's relationship with Tim Wakefield. Wakefield has been the foundation of the Red Sox team, the most reliable when it comes to eating up innings every 5 days. Will he be able to connect with whoever catches him next year as well as he did with Mirabelli? The Red Sox were concerned enough to discuss the trade (reportedly) with Tim Wakefield before pulling the trigger.

Mark Loretta according to
Loretta had a disappointing season in the wake of his blockbuster 2004 campaign. His power numbers fell dramatically, in part because of a mid-May thumb injury requiring surgery. He struggled to regain his stroke when he finally came back, and it wasn't until the final weeks of the season that he began banging the ball consistently. Defensively, he was typically solid, and there are few better guys in a clubhouse. He could have a big bounce-back season in 2006.

One last note. Kevin Millar is officially gone as of yesterday. Not surprisingly, the Red Sox failed to offer him arbitration. Thanks for the World Series (of which he was a big part!)

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