|07.31.09 at 6:12 pm ET|
This morning began with rumors that the Red Sox could be after Victor Martinez and that, if such a deal were to happen, Adam LaRoche would be the odd man out. Well, Martinez was traded, as a result, so was LaRoche.
The Red Sox sent LaRoche– just six games of experience into his Boston career– to Atlanta, where he spent the first three years of his career, and in return netted 26-year-old Braves first baseman Casey Kotchman in a one-for-one deal. “Redundant” was a word that Red Sox skipper Terry Francona used to describe LaRoche’s presence after the Martinez trade, so it’s clear that the Sox were looking for a different type of first baseman, which Kotchman figures to be.
On the season, the left-handed-hitting Kotchman has a .282 average, which sets him apart from LaRoche, who is known more for his power. This marks the second consecutive year in which Kotchman was traded for a power-hitting first baseman, as he was traded last July from the Angels to Atlanta in the Mark Teixeira deal.
Given the logjam that has already been brought on by the Martinez acquisition, Kotchman will likely serve as a bench player whose defense will be of value in the later innings. However, the Red Sox undoubtedly must have also been drawn to the fact that they could send Kotchman to the minors, something that would not be an option with LaRoche unless he cleared waivers.
Trading LaRoche for Kotchman helps the Red Sox not only for the rest of the season, but also for the long haul. Kotchman may not swing as big a stick as LaRoche, but he will fit better in the part-time role and will certainly not be the rental that LaRoche was. The Red Sox will control Kotchman’s rights through the 2012 season. LaRoche is set to hit free agency at the end of the season.
Following the trade, LaRoche, who noted that he considers himself an everyday player, said he “didn’t mind sacrificing” playing time if it meant helping the Sox.
“I’d gladly take that (part-time) role (to be in Boston),” LaRoche said, also joking that he “should have hit more homers.”
Alex Speier contributed to this report.
|07.31.09 at 5:50 pm ET|
The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.
Kotchman, 26, will wear No. 11. He has hit .282 (84-for-298) with 20 doubles, six home runs, 41 RBI, 28 runs scored and 32 walks in 87 games with the Braves this season. The left-handed hitter is batting .320 (24-for-75) and has posted a .427 on-base and .507 slugging percentage over 23 games in July.
Selected by Anaheim in the first round (13th overall) of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, Kotchman has hit .272 (431-for-1,587) with 98 doubles, 39 home runs and 226 RBI in 481 career Major League games with the Angels (2004-08) and Braves (2008-09). Kotchman’s career .998 fielding percentage at first base is the highest in baseball history among players with at least 3,500 total chances at that position. He has played 156 consecutive games (149 starts) since he committed his last error on June 20, 2008, a span of 1,379 total chances.
Kotchman has appeared in eight postseason games with the Angels (2004, 2005 and 2007), going 2-for-15 with a double and an RBI.
LaRoche, 29, was acquired by the Red Sox on July 22 from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He hit .263 (5-for-19) with two doubles, a home run, three RBI and two runs scored in six games with the Red Sox. The left-handed hitter went 80-for-324 (.247) with 12 home runs and 40 RBI in 87 games for the Pirates this season. Selected by Atlanta in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft, LaRoche owns a .269 batting average with 124 homers and 429 RBI in 781 Major League games with the Braves (2004-06), Pirates (2007-09) and Red Sox (2009).
|07.31.09 at 4:56 pm ET|
Wilmington, DE (July 31, 2009) ‘ Bryan Price, Boston’s 45th overall selection in the 2008 Draft and current righthander for the Salem Red Sox, was packaged with Justin Masterson and Nick Hagadone in a trade for the Cleveland Indians catcher/first-baseman Victor Martinez on Thursday afternoon.
Shortly after learning about the deal, Price spoke to Red Sox radio broadcaster Evan Lepler about his initial reaction to the move.
Evan Lepler: You were on the bus with the team and then you were called off the bus to talk on the phone. What did you think when you were called off the bus and whom did you speak to on the phone?
Bryan Price: I didn’t really know what to expect or what it was about. I talked to Eppy [Salem manager Chad Epperson] and he gave me the news. Getting traded for a big leaguer is usually a good thing for a person’s career so I gotta think this is gonna be pretty good for me and I’m pretty excited about it.
EL: After you found out, you got back on the bus. What was it like to hear the combination of joking, applause, and jeers from your former teammates?
BP: They’re a good group of guys. I’ve had a really fun time with them. I’m gonna miss them all. You build bonds with them and they like to give you a hard time, but they’re really happy for you in the end.
EL: Did you think about the possibility of you being traded at all this past week?
BP: Ya know, it’s always a possibility, but it’s something you really don’t expect. But when it happens it happens, and it’s something you can be happy about.
EL: Have you thought at all about pitching against some of these guys (current Salem Red Sox players) if you end up in Kinston (Cleveland’s Advanced-A affiliate)?
BP: No (laughs), it’s just kind of setting in. I just found out 15 minutes ago. So I’m just starting to get a grasp on it all. It’ll be interesting. We play each other in a week, so we’ll find out if we get to do it or not.
EL: Have you been contacted yet by anyone in the Indians organization yet?
BP: No, not yet. I haven’t talked to anyone yet regarding details of where I’m going or anything like that. That all will get settled when it does.
EL: Is it strange that you’ve spent a year and a half in one organization and now you’re going to another?
BP: It’s a little different. I’ve always loved the Red Sox and it’s been a great organization. It’s gonna be different making that transition but baseball is baseball, and baseball is a business as far as this goes. So I’m looking forward to it. I think this will be a good experience for me.
Price began the season with Greenville and made eight starts for the Drive, compiling a 3-2 record with a 2.45 ERA, 40 strikeouts, and 10 walks. In 11 starts for Salem, Price went 1-6 with a 6.54 ERA, recording 57 strikeouts and 19 walks. The righthander spent three years at Rice University before the Red Sox drafted him with their supplemental round selection in 2008. In his pro debut in 2008, Price went 1-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 12 games (nine starts) for the Lowell Spinners, racking up 43 Ks and only 10 walks.
|07.31.09 at 4:53 pm ET|
BOSTON, MA’The Boston Red Sox today acquired catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez in a trade from the Cleveland Indians for right-handed pitchers Justin Masterson and Bryan Price and left-handed pitcher Nick Hagadone.
The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.
Martinez, 30, will wear No. 41. He is batting .284 with 15 home runs in 99 games with Cleveland in 2009 and is tied for ninth in the American League with 67 RBI. He has reached base safely in 81 of 99 games this season and ranks 16th in the league with 51 walks. He is fourth among A.L. switch hitters with a .368 on-base percentage and combined to bat .350 in the months of April and May, fourth in the league during that time.
He was named an All-Star for the third time in his career this season and has appeared in 52 games (51 starts) as a catcher and 47 games (44 starts) at first base. He has not made an error in 299 total chances behind the plate and leads all qualifying Major League catchers with a 1.000 fielding percentage. Martinez has a .992 fielding percentage at first base. He has thrown out 21.4 percent (122-for-569) of attempted base stealers in his career and ranks seventh in the A.L. with a 4.24 catcher ERA since 2005.
Originally signed by the Indians as a non-drafted free agent in 1996, he has a career Major League average of .297 with 103 home runs and 518 RBI in 821 games with Cleveland from 2002-09. He leads the Majors with 153 doubles and 406 RBI as a catcher since the start of the 2004 campaign and ranks among that group in batting average (3rd, .296), on-base percentage (4th, .369), slugging (4th, .466) homers (T-4th, 82), runs (5th, 324) and walks (5th, 269).
The 2004 Silver Slugger Award winner is a career .303 hitter off right-handers with a .284 clip against lefties. He went 14-for-44 (.318) with two home runs and seven RBI in his only playoff experience for Cleveland in 2007.
Masterson, 24, was 3-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 31 games (six starts) this season. Boston’s fifth pick (71st overall) in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft made his Major League debut last season and owns a 9-8 career record and 3.76 ERA in 67 games (15 starts). He set a club rookie record with nine post-season appearances in 2008, going 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA.
Hagadone, 23, was taken by the Red Sox with their first pick (55th overall) in the 2007 draft. He was 0-2 with a 2.52 ERA, 32 strikeouts and 14 walks in 10 starts for Single-A Greenville this year. The University of Washington product owns a 1-4 record and 1.82 ERA in 23 career minor league starts in Boston’s system.
Price, 22, combined to go 4-8 with a 4.67 ERA, 97 strikeouts and 31 walks in 19 starts with Single-A Greenville and Advanced Single-A Salem. Boston’s second selection (45th overall) in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft made his professional debut last season and is 5-11 with a 4.42 ERA in 31 career minor league games (28 starts).
|07.31.09 at 4:30 pm ET|
|07.31.09 at 4:28 pm ET|
Jon Heyman tweets the White Sox have traded for Jake Peavy for the second time this season. He vetoed a deal in May but has approved today’s move, according to Corey Brock. Peavy is on the DL with a torn ankle tendon.
UPDATE: It appears Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Dexter Carter and Adam Russell are going to San Diego in the deal.
|07.31.09 at 4:20 pm ET|
Johnson was a name that the Red Sox were rumored to be after. The first baseman was hitting .295 with 6 home runs and 44 RBI.
|07.31.09 at 3:47 pm ET|
Jon Heyman tweets that Scott Rolen has waived his no-trade clause for a deal that will send him to the Reds. Fox Sports says the Blue Jays will get Edwin Encarnacion and another player in what is a swap of third basemen.
|07.31.09 at 3:40 pm ET|
|07.31.09 at 3:33 pm ET|
According to multiple reports (not yet confirmed by WEEI.com), the Red Sox parted with Justin Masterson and Nick Hagadone in exchange for Victor Martinez. Masterson, of course, is well known after spending more than a year in the big leagues. Hagadone, meanwhile, is considered a high-ceiling left-hander with a great pitcher’s frame.
Earlier this week, before the deal, Red Sox farm director Mike Hazen spoke about Hagadone’s progress in his return from Tommy John surgery. Hagadone is 0-2 with a 2.52 ERA and 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings. His fastball has topped out at anywhere from 95-98 mph, and the 23-year-old’s slider remained a wipeout pitch. He complements that with a promising change.
Though he has been limited to roughly three innings and 50 pitches in his stints, he has overpowered the competition in the South Atlantic League (where he pitched 10 innings without allowing an earned run in 2008 before blowing out).
As is typical for pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgery, his control (14 walks in 25 innings) was up-and-down. Even so, in both performance and more important physical markers, his rehab is progressing well.
‘He’s been bouncing back great in between starts, which is a very positive developmental step. He wasn’t bouncing back as quickly in April,’ said Hazen. ‘He’s in a good spot. There’s a comfort level (in Greenville) because he can overmatch guys with stuff.’
Masterson is 3-3 with a 4.50 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 72 innings. The 24-year-old was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft by the Sox.
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