Martinez To Boston

The Red Sox were clearly not content with a roster that is already among baseball’s best – they wanted to upgrade, and they were willing to kick the tires on every all-star that might be available. The one they landed on, Victor Martinez, is a great fit for their roster.

Martinez can catch when Varitek isn’t, can play first when Lowell needs a day off, or can DH when Francona wants to give David Ortiz a breather. By adding Martinez to the C/1B/DH rotation, the Red Sox can essentially platoon Ortiz/Lowell/Varitek, giving them a constant platoon advantage and keeping the older legs fresh. Versatility and depth are often very useful in a playoff series, and the Red Sox now have that in spades.

The price to acquire Martinez hasn’t been officially solidified yet, but it sounds like its headed by Justin Masterson and Nick Hagadone. The Red Sox had held off on trading Masterson for several years now, but finally found a player they deemed worthy of giving up the right-handed sinkerball specialist.

For the Indians, Masterson is the kind of major league ready arm they needed to move Martinez. He should slide right into their rotation and help imrpove their run prevention immediately. As a groundball and strikeout guy, Masterson’s upside is something like Gil Meche. He doesn’t have the knockout secondary pitches to be an ace, but he profiles as a solid middle of the rotation starter. I’m a fan, and Cleveland should be happy to have picked him up in the deal.

Hagadone is more of a risk/reward guy, a big arm strength lefty who has already had Tommy John surgery and is working his way back to full health. He’s been used as both a reliever and a starter, but Boston always projected his stuff to work in the rotation if he could stay healthy. He’s a couple of years from the majors, but power LHPs with a chance to stick as starters are valuable commodities.

From Cleveland’s perspective, they get two good young arms, one of whom can step right into their rotation. That makes this a win, even if dealing Martinez away hurts their offense quite a bit. From Boston’s perspective, they dealt from depth that they could afford to lose in order to get an all-star caliber player who fits perfectly into their roster.

This is a win-win. Good deal for both clubs.

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Dave is a co-founder of and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

47 Responses to “Martinez To Boston”

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  1. Tom B says:

    price is the other prospect

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  2. Joe R says:

    Good deal for the Red Sox?
    Perfect fit?

    Really, Dave?

    Yes, Kottaras can go back to AAA now, but now look at our situation:
    C: Varitek, Martinez
    1B: Youkilis, Martinez, LaRoche
    3B: Lowell, Youkilis
    DH: Ortiz, Lowell

    How’s this going to work? Sure the price was sort of cheap (We did give up an 8.1 K/9 in 2009 guy, though), but this is iffy stuff.

    /waits to see if the Sox now spin LaRoche to Atlanta, maybe with Buchholz or someone for Escobar

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    • Derek says:

      Actually. Kottaras is out of options, I don’t think we can send him to AAA. Also, who is going to catch Wake??

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  3. Big Oil says:

    Apologies for not knowing, but what is Martinez’s contract status?

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  4. Joe R says:

    Okay what the mother eff:

    3:21 p.m. Yahoo! Sports’s Gordon Edes reports that the Red Sox have dealt Adam LaRoche to the Braves for first baseman Casey Kotchman. Kotchman, 26, is batting .282 with six homers and 41 RBIs this season. LaRoche spent the first three years of his career with the Braves. He was acquired by the Red Sox on July 22 from the Pirates for a pair of prospects.

    So we traded our recently acquired 1B for a slightly younger 1B?

    Are the Sox about to put Kotchman in AAA and spin Lars Anderson in a deal for Halladay?

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    • Gary says:

      Did the braves really do Kotchman for Laroche?
      What’re the getting out of that?

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      • Joe R says:

        A decent but replaceable 1B who’s gone at the end of the season instead of one about to hit arbitration.

        Makes this double confusing for me, Kotchman’s about to hit those years, we’re paying him til 2012.

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  5. Ashraf D says:

    As a Giants fan, it’s sad to think we could have packaged Alderson and Barnes and been closing to getting V-Mart instead of Sanchez and Garko.

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  6. Joe R says:

    I’m seriously confused as hell right now.
    There HAS to be something else to LaRoche for Kotchman. Why would we trade an okay 1B for an okay 1B?

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    • Joe R says:

      FoxSports is reporting Kotchman may be the full time 1B and Martinez @ DH.

      Are the Sox shopping Ortiz?

      Man I am comment whoring right now. Don’t care, completely confused as to what the Sox are whipping together in the 11th hour and want answers.

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      • rizzo says:

        Shopping Oritz? Seriously, for what, 10 baseball bats like the indy league deal?

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      • Joe R says:

        They may have offered to Lugo it up on the deal for all I know.

        I think the Red Sox are better. And when I say I think, I mean that in a confused state of mind. Not pissed over what we lost, but not fully digesting what we gained.

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  7. Dave says:

    I’m hearing that Kotch isn’t going anywhere and that the Sox love him off the bench. A 2009 version of Dougie M, if you will. As a Sox fan, I love the deal.

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    • Joe R says:

      If we want to count Martinez in the corner IF crowd since he’s a poor defensive C…

      5 corner IF / DH types.

      20% of our roster.

      When’s Kotchman even going to get to play if we’ll be busy swapping around Tek, Ortiz, Lowell, Youk, and Martinez in the lineup? I mean I see the pros of these guys getting the day off every 4th or 5th day, but this could get messy quick.

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  8. Mark H says:

    Can’t you proofread your writing? You have at least one spelling error. Any shred of credibility you may have gets negated by sloppy writing.

    Regardless of that, Martinez is a good hitter, and an above-average fielder. I just don’t think this deal changes their chances at a World Series, for better or for worse.

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    • Terminator X says:

      You’re kidding, right?

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    • JH says:

      Well, this July’s race was a tough one, but Mark H has officially swept in right under the deadline to come up with the douchebag comment of the month. Congratulations. You’ll be receiving your gift basket in the mail shortly.

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      • Mark H says:

        Why, because Martinez wasn’t even the best player this year on a poor team? You’re nuts if you think this moves makes them anymore of a front-runner for the World Series than they already were, and that was my point.

        Or, is it because I find it ridiculous that a blogger, or any writer, is willing to post an article without proofreading it. It’s pure crap, and insulting to real writers. Have some respect for the profession, and write a professional article. Christ, Microsoft Word even underlines all mistakes for you.

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      • Hater says:

        Hate hate hate hatetatatata

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  9. Rob in CT says:

    Damn, I was hoping the Sox would part with Buccholtz.

    V-Mart definitely makes them better… their offense really didn’t scare me anymore. Now they’ve got another quality hitter to throw at you and grind you down. Blah.

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    • Joe R says:

      That I do agree with. Unfortunately the Red Sox have a lot of iffy money in the corner IF right now (not that it’s their fault Lowell and Ortiz went south so quick), so having those unmoveable parts isn’t too much fun.

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  10. Joe R says:

    4:15 p.m. ESPN reports, in sort of a throwaway line in its Martinez story, that a bigger deal for Halladay fell apart when the Sox refused to part with both Buchholz and Bard.

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  11. Rich Gedman says:

    Varitek can SIT down now as much as possible (except vs. Ls).

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  12. joser says:

    So this makes Shoppach the starting C for the Indians?

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  13. Matt B, says:

    Guess they didn’t notice V.Mart hitting like crap the past few weeks… .361 wOBA, no defense, meh…

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  14. dbuff says:

    Shoppach would seem to be in line for more playing time but Cleveland acquired a good catching prospect, Lou Marson, in the deal with the Phillies.

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  15. Pat says:

    If Kottaras is going back to AAA, who is going to catch Wake?!

    If you don’t think that’s a big deal, I will refer you to the Doug Mirabelli police escort.

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    • 080808 says:

      no options left for Kottaras.

      they can option Kotchman, though.

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      • Derek says:

        That is what is confusing me. Seems like they have to send someone down to AAA. I am sure Kotchman is going to be excited about being a starter on a major league team and is now going to be a starter for AAA.

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  16. Mike says:

    “Why, because Martinez wasn’t even the best player this year on a poor team?”


    “Guess they didn’t notice V.Mart hitting like crap the past few weeks”


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    • Nelson says:

      So, Martinez has a terrible month and a half and, despite still in the high .280s, suddenly becomes a mediocre player?

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  17. BX says:

    Meh. I still find the return very underwhelming for Cleveland. Should’ve gotten at least one of Buchholz or Casey Kelly.

    Although good on Shapiro for getting Hagadone over Bowden, way more upside there.

    This must be an extreme buyers’ market.

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  18. fanOFdefenseAGAIN says:

    Justin Masterson is a stud, a stud I tell you.

    Guy has a very good k/bb while inducing a ton of grounders. What is not to like?

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  19. Judy says:

    Do other teams even still want Buchholz? You get Masterson, I think you feel pretty good about your chances to at least have a pretty useful pitcher in the present and near future. You get Buchholz, and you’re kind of rolling the dice that you’ll wind up getting anything of use at all. The Red Sox probably think they have a large enough pool of pitching talent accumulated to gamble that way, but I don’t know that other teams would be as likely to think the same way.

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    • Pat says:

      This is why women shouldnt talk sports…… buchholz some of the best pure stuff in baseball, while tour comment on other teams not wanting to gamble as much as the red sox…. every team in baseball would have taken buchholz over masterson in a second in july and its pretty clear why… masterson is a bullpen arm, he just doesnt have anything that scares lefties

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  20. Joe R says:

    Back to the Kottaras issue, are we just going to shelve him until September call ups so we don’t have to use up 3 of 25 spots on catchers?

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    • Judy says:

      Sure, why not? Wakefield doesn’t seem to be in any kind of shape to need him sooner, anyway.

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      • Joe R says:

        Well to be fair, you can’t just DL a guy if he doesn’t want to be on there.

        I’d love if Martinez could just be Wake’s catcher, but by all metrics, Martinez is no Molina-brother behind the dish.

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  21. radiosurgery says:

    I still can’t believe that Gil Meche is a good pitcher. Hearing that Masterson’s upside is Gil Meche made me do a double take.

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  22. Joe R says:

    So I am starting to really enjoy this here Victor Martinez trade.
    Best of all, his BABIP is .305 which leads me to believe he can continue to OPS around .900. YAY.

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