Wednesday, June 19, 2013
By JOHN TOMASE Boston Herald
BOSTON - The Boston Red Sox didn't just unload $270 million in the deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. They received some legitimate talent in return, too.
Ben Cherington, the Red Sox general manager, admitted Saturday that the heavy foray into free-agent signings the last few years hasn’t worked out. And now, with such a reduced payroll and this season lost, the team can properly rebuild for a future run to the top.
The Associated Press
While first baseman James Loney is the only player with extensive big league experience, a pair of minor league pitchers hold quite a bit of promise.
The Red Sox announced Saturday that they had acquired Loney, Double-A right-hander Allen Webster and Triple-A infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr.
Two more players to be named -- confirmed to be Triple-A right-hander Rubby De La Rosa and Triple-A outfielder/first baseman Jerry Sands -- will join the organization after the season because they didn't clear waivers.
While Loney might represent only a one-month fix before hitting free agency, he'll at least fill a need for the rest of the season.
He's a lifetime .284 hitter who's batting .254 this year with four homers and 33 RBI. The 28-year-old left-handed hitter owns the third-highest postseason average among active players at .349 (22 for 63).
"We'll get a chance to get to know him," said General Manager Ben Cherington.
"He's a good defender, he's very durable, he's played a lot. We think he's got a pretty good swing for Fenway. I think he's excited to hit in a different ballpark."
Webster may be the key to the deal. The 22-year-old right-hander began the year as the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect, according to Baseball America, and he landed on the overall Top 100 list of ESPN's Keith Law.
He was 6-8 with a 3.55 ERA in 22 starts at Chattanooga. He's expected to get at least one start with the Portland Sea Dogs.
"Athletic, good stuff, three plus pitches -- fastball, slider changeup," Cherington said. "He has been a pretty consistent performer. We think he has a chance to be a good major league starter."
Cherington couldn't comment on the players to be named, but De La Rosa is by far the more intriguing of the two.
Until blowing out his elbow in 2011 and undergoing Tommy John surgery, De La Rosa was considered a possible No. 1 starter in the big leagues, thanks to a 100 mph fastball and above-average changeup.
"Even an average slider would give him No. 1 or No. 2 starter potential, and I think he can get there if he can release it from a slightly lower spot, closer to where he releases the fastball," Law wrote. "It's a huge arm in any role, and, as long as he's healthy, he should be able to start."
De Jesus, a utility infielder, was the Dodgers' second-round pick in 2005. He has appeared in 23 big league games this year.
Sands, meanwhile, has posted big numbers at Triple A but is viewed as a platoon player. A right-handed hitter, he has a .244 average with four home runs in 221 major league at-bats.