Going into today, I was pretty confident in saying that either Roy Halladay, Adrian Gonzalez, or Victor Martinez would be in a Boston Red Sox uniform on Saturday. After finding the asking price for both Halladay and Gonzalez too high, the Red Sox settled for plan A-.
Late this afternoon the Red Sox acquired All-Star C/1B Victor Martinez from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for pitchers Nick Hagadone, Bryan Price, and Justin Masterson.
If anyone has watched the Red Sox over the last month, you would know this team needed a kick in the pants on offense. Martinez or “VMart” is that kick in the pants. I said A- earlier because VMart is a wonderful offensive player who was hitting .284 with 15 HRs and 67 RBI for the Indians this year. VMart is also a switch-hitter which makes him even more valuable. He is too good to be considered a Plan B.
VMart can catch and play first base, but my guess is he will see regular time at first base (Sox already unloaded Adam LaRoche to the Atlanta Braves) or DH against righties.
The Red Sox didn’t acquire a Martinez for lifetime supply of Mentos – they gave up some good arms in Hagadone and Masterson. Hagadone was the Red Sox first-round pick in the 2007 draft and all he has done in three years of minor-league ball is compile a 1.82 ERA in 23 starts. He was Boston’s third best prospect at the start of the season according to Baseball America.
As for Masterson, with his three-quarter delivery and lack of a third or fourth pitch, I think he is more a reliever than a starter in the majors. The Indians should have a nice one-two punch for the future in the back of their pen with Masterson and Chris Perez.
My take is that the Red Sox not got Martinez for this year, but for 2010 as well and didn’t have to give up Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, Lars Anderson, Jason Place, Casey Kelly, or Daniel Bard.
As usual, well played Theo, well played.