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UPDATED: Red Sox Land Victor Martinez For Masterson And Two Prospects

07.31.09 at 2:34 pm ET
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The Red Sox have acquired All-Star catcher Victor Martinez from the Cleveland Indians for Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price. The deal was first reported by Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Martinez was in St. Louis for his third All-Star Game on the strength of a bounce-back season in 2009. He averaged 21 homers from 2004-07, hitting .302 with a .376 OBP and .860 OPS to establish himself as one of the top offensive catchers in the majors.

In 2008, however, his performance plummeted. He went deep just two times, hitting .278 with a .337 OBP and .701 OPS while dealing with ‘€œloose bodies’€ in his right elbow that ultimately required arthroscopic surgery in the middle of last year.

This spring, Martinez arrived to spring training with the Indians healthy. His power has returned, as he is hitting .284 with 15 homers, a .368 OBP and .832 OPS.

‘€œWhen I got to spring training, I knew I was healthy. That was a big difference between this year and last year,’€ said Martinez. ‘€œAll the trouble that I went through last year, it’€™s a big difference when you’€™re playing healthy’€¦It was the first time for me in my career, having a lot of pain and stuff in my body. I went and got my elbow surgery, and then finally this year, I came back healthy.’€

While that earned Martinez his third All-Star spot, it did not help the Indians in the standings. They dealt 2008 Cy Young winner Cliff Lee last week, and now, reportedly, have made a move to deal Martinez today.

Earlier this month, a baseball source said that the Sox were balking at the prospect demands for Martinez, which were described as being of the ‘€œback up the truck’€ variety. But with the offense sputtering, the Sox seemed to increase their aggressiveness on the market to the point of this reported deal.

The switch-hitter will presumably be worked into the mix both behind the plate and at first base. Martinez has handled right-handers (.301/.372/.471) better than he has left-handers (.243/.353/.456) this year, suggesting that he has a skill set that is complementary with those of both Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek, both of whom are excellent against left-handers.

Martinez is currently playing in the fifth season of a five-year, $15.5 million contract that has a team option for 2010 at a very reasonable pricetag of $7 million. He suggests that he is able to ignore the rumor mill and to focus on what he does on the field.

‘€œYou’€™ve got enough to worry about playing baseball’€¦I think I do a pretty good job on that, keeping away from that distraction. I don’€™t really pay attention to that. We’€™ll see. Whatever happens, happens. The only thing I need to make sure of is show up to the field and play hard every day,’€ said Martinez. ‘€œI would like to stay and hopefully retire as an Indian.’€

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UPDATE: Masterson, Hagadone to Cleveland in Victor Martinez deal

07.31.09 at 1:59 pm ET
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According to Bob Nightengale, the Red Sox are set to get Victor Martinez from Cleveland. Ed Price has a source saying a deal “looks good.” Fox says the deal is only between the Red Sox and Indians and that neither Clay Buchholz nor Daniel Bard are included. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo is reporting that the Sox are giving up Justin Masterson and 2007 first-round pick Nick Hagadone. More to come.

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Rumor Mill: SD’s asking price “three times” that of Blue Jays

07.31.09 at 1:35 pm ET
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A baseball executive has told Jayson Stark that the Padres’ asking price for Adrian Gonzalez is “three times the asking price on Halladay.” Jon Heyman says the Red Sox and Padres are discussing Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson, and Jed Lowrie, but that San Diego is also asking for Lars Anderson and Ryan Westmoreland.

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Jon Heyman: Sox active in “every big name”

07.31.09 at 1:25 pm ET
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SI’s Jon Heyman, appearing on the MLB Network, said that the Red Sox were one of the teams that called about Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. He also noted that the Sox remain interested in Adrian Gonzalez, saying Boston “has its hand in every big name out there.”

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UPDATE: Twins Acquire Cabrera

07.31.09 at 1:23 pm ET
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According to Yahoo Sports! Tim Brown and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, former Sox SS Orlando Cabrera is headed to the Twin Cities.

The Twins send shortstop Tyler Ladenorf to Oakland in exchange for Cabrera. Cabrera is hitting .280 with four home runs and 41 RBI in 101 games in Oakland.

The Twins are also recieving cash considerations as a part of the deal.

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Rumor Mill: Cabrera to Twins almost done?

07.31.09 at 1:04 pm ET
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Susan Slusser says that former Red Sox shortstop Orlando Cabrera is “very likely to be a member of the Minnesota Twins in the next hour or two.”

It is unclear what the A’s will be receiving in return for the two-time Gold Glove winner.

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Rumor Mill: Mayo on Sox targets

07.31.09 at 12:41 pm ET
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This from MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo: “I’m hearing odds of Padres dealing AGonzalez are very low at this point.”

On Victor Martinez: “Source tells me chances of Tribe dealing V-Mart is about 50 percent.”

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Rumor Mill: Teams trying for King Felix?

07.31.09 at 12:19 pm ET
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ESPN Rumor Central notes that six teams have contacted the Mariners about 23-year-old ace Felix Hernandez, but were all rejected. Hernandez is a free agent after the 2011 season.

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UPDATE: Tigers get Washburn

07.31.09 at 11:39 am ET
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Mike Salk is reporting that the Tigers have traded for Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn. Pitchers Luke French and Mauricio Robles are headed to the Mariners, according to a TV report by Buster Olney.

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Rumor Mill: Sox after Gonzalez and Bell?

07.31.09 at 11:30 am ET
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Here’s an interesting one: the Daily News is reporting that the Sox are not only in “full pursuit” of Adrian Gonzalez, but may also be able to get Padres closer Heath Bell included in a deal for the slugger. The report says the Sox would have to include flamethrowing rookie Daniel Bard in such a package deal.

The 31-year-old Bell has 25 saves and a 2.01 ERA this year, though it’s worth noting his home field is the pitcher-friendly PETCO Park. He has 48 strikeouts in 40.1 innings in his first All-Star season.

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