|Theo Epstein’s take on the MLB trade market||07.14.10 at 10:48 pm ET|
The Atlanta Braves made the first major move of the post-All Star break to enhance their roster by adding former Red Sox and Cincinnati shortstop Alex Gonzalez to their roster in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays.
And while that move indicates what Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein termed on Wednesday an “active market,” that doesn’t mean he will be willing to wheel and deal with all of the injuries the Red Sox are attempting to overcome to stay in the AL East race with the Yankees and Rays.
“I think it’s pretty active out there because there are teams with needs so there’s a lot of talk,” Epstein said. “I don’t think it’s the greatest crop in the world of available players. If you compare this year’s likely crop to last year’s, for example, there’s a big difference. You’re not always out there to acquire an All Star-type. You can sometimes get a nice role player, who happens to be a nice fit for your club, which is a good thing because there aren’t too many All Star-type players out there right now.”
In 2004, the Red Sox dealt Nomar Garciaparra at the trade deadline and wound up replacing him with Orlando Cabrera. In 2007, the Red Sox traded David Murphy and Kason Gabbard to Texas and received Eric Gagne in return. In both cases, the Red Sox won the World Series. In 2008, the Red Sox shipped away disgruntled Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers in a three-way trade that netted them Jason Bay.
The Red Sox lost to Tampa Bay in the ALCS in seven games.
This year, the Red Sox might be waiting on their slew of injured players to return to provide what could be a similar boost to a team with 51 wins, the third-most in the American League but third-most in the AL East.
“We’re always active looking. It’s really the same position we’ve been every year,” Epstein said. “Our job is to be as thorough as possible, find any possible fit to make us better. It doesn’t mean we’re going to do [just] anything. Sometimes, the only moves you can make, make you worse. I do think we’re going to get so many guys back off the DL, we’re going to get a boost no matter what we do. But, yeah, we’d like to find a fit from the outside to make us better. We’ll see.
“Tito’s done a good job, the whole coaching staff,” Epstein said. “Ultimately, it falls down on the players, holding things together and playing well and you find out what kind of organization you have as a whole when you’re without some of your best players. Things are a lot easier, in general, when you have no injuries like ’04 and ’07.”
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