February 20, 2011

On Baseball: Red Sox's busy offseason seems like it will pay off

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

As far as making any more major roster moves, Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein said he is done for now.

Since the trade deadline last July, Epstein has been busy working on 2011 -- and beyond.

The key moves included changing corner infielders and catchers, adding an outfielder and retooling the bullpen.

Let's take a look at the comings and goings: 

1. POWER FOR POWER

Gone: Adrian Beltre, a power-hitting third baseman, to Texas.

Added: Adrian Gonzalez, a power-hitting first baseman, from San Diego.

Also gone: Three top prospects -- pitcher Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and outfielder Reymond Fuentes -- and utility player Eric Patterson in the trade for Gonzalez.

Also added: Texas' first-round draft pick (No. 26), plus a supplemental-round pick, as compensation for losing Beltre.

Numbers: Beltre, 31, batted .321 with 28 home runs and 102 RBI last year. Gonzalez, 28, batted .298 with 31 home runs and 101 RBI.

Money: Beltre signed a five-year deal that could become six years, averaging $16 million a year. Gonzalez is scheduled to make $6.3 million this year, but is expected to sign an extension that will be for a total of eight years, averaging about $20 million per season.

The Red Sox also had invested $4.5 million in signing bonuses for Kelly, Fuentes and Rizzo. Patterson will be on a minimum contract of about $500,000. 

2. LOSE A STAR, ADD A STAR

Gone: Victor Martinez, a switch-hitting catcher, to Detroit.

Added: Carl Crawford, a five-tool outfielder, from Tampa Bay.

Also gone: Boston's first-round draft pick (No. 24) to the Rays for signing Crawford.

Also added: Detroit's first-round pick (No. 19) and a supplemental-round pick for losing Martinez.

Numbers: Martinez, 32, hit .302 with 20 home runs and 79 RBI. Crawford, 29, hit .307 with 19 home runs, 90 RBI, 110 runs and 47 stolen bases.

Cash: Martinez signed a four-year contract, averaging $12.5 million. Crawford signed a seven-year deal, averaging $20.3 million. 

3. BULKED UP BULLPEN

Gone: Relievers Manny Delcarmen, to the Rockies (and now Mariners), and Ramon Ramirez, to the Giants.

Added: Relievers Bobby Jenks, Dan Wheeler, and Alfredo Aceves, from the White Sox, Rays and Yankees.

Also gone: No one. The Rays did not offer Wheeler arbitration so Boston does not have to forfeit a draft pick. Both Jenks (with the White Sox) and Aceves (with the Yankees) were released when their teams did not offer a contract.

Also added: Minor league pitchers Chris Balcom-Miller (acquired for Delcarmen) and Daniel Turpen (for Ramirez). Turpen was later chosen by the Yankees in the Rule V draft and will be returned to Boston if he does not stick with the major league roster.

Numbers: Delcarmen, 29, and Ramirez, 29, were overall ineffective for Boston, recording 4.70 and 4.46 ERA before being traded last year.

Jenks, 29, and Wheeler, 33, are two established relievers, although Jenks is coming off an off year (4.44 ERA). Aceves, 28, was injured much of last season, but was solid in 2009 (3.54 ERA with a 1.01 WHIP).

Cash: Ramirez will make $1.65 million this year, while Delcarmen signed a minor league contact with Seattle. Jenks signed a two-year deal, averaging $6 million. Wheeler is down for one year at $3 million, with a $3 million option for 2012. Aceves signed for $650,000. 

4. A NEW CATCHER

Gone: Three minor leaguers -- pitcher Roman Mendez and first basemen Chris McGuiness and Michael Thomas, to Texas.

Added: Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, from Texas.

(Continued on page 2)

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