MLB Trade Deadline 2009

Buzz leading up to July 31 non-waiver deadline

Tim-marchman-fannation
Views
1973
Comments
1

Boston Red Sox fans like to think of their team as both sleeker and smarter than the competition, the Apple to the New York Yankees' Microsoft. This may be so, but the Red Sox are still just as capable of gross excess as their rivals. Take their apparent interest in the Cleveland Indians' Victor Martinez, a man for whom they have no position at all.

Martinez is one of the best catchers in the majors, but the Sox already have a good catcher, Jason Varitek, who isn't just the team captain but is having a more-than-respectable season despite a .231 batting average. Martinez also plays first base, but the Sox's best player, Kevin Youkilis, plays there, and the team just acquired a solid starter, Adam LaRoche, as a reserve. Youkilis can play third, but the Sox also have a good player there, Mike Lowell. He won't be an every-day starter the rest of the year because of the lingering effects of a hip injury, but he has hit quite well lately and a three-way platoon of Youkilis, Lowell and LaRoche would be excellent. And of course Martinez could DH, but it's hard to imagine the Sox benching the newly-steroid-tainted David Ortiz a lot, and even if they did there would still be other options.

No, as much sense as it would make to pick up Martinez -- he's an excellent player in his prime and could take over for Varitek next year on a relatively cheap contract -- the mere idea of Boston picking him up right now reeks of gluttony.  He wouldn't do much for them at all other than assure that every night they had at least one, and maybe two, quality starters on the bench. That's a nice luxury, but that's all it is.

Which brings us to another potential suitor for Martinez, the Tampa Bay Rays, who are something like the Linux of the American League East. Unlike the Red Sox, the Rays actually need Martinez, and one might not be crazy to theorize that the Sox's interest might have to do with keeping him away from a competitor that needs him. Incumbent catcher Dioner Navarro hasn't hit all year and hasn't showed any sign he's going to -- during a July "hot spell" he has hit .271/.294/.417. As a rough approximation Martinez might be worth a win or even two more than Navarro over the last two months of the season, and that could well be the difference between the Rays defending their pennant and not.

Comment

Remember to keep your posts clean. Profanity will get filtered, and offensive comments will be removed.


Truth & Rumors

MOST POPULAR

  1. 1
    Irving: Fans don't deserve the Cavs
    Views
    23595
    Comments
    684
  2. 2
    D'Antoni's newest 'blunder'
    Views
    1408
    Comments
    655
  3. 3
    Baseball's top 2015 free agent
    Views
    1394
    Comments
    526
  4. 4
    Red Sox dodged two injury scares
    Views
    3458
    Comments
    504
  5. 5
    The NHL's model franchise?
    Views
    1470
    Comments
    126

SI.com

SI Photos