At The Ballyard ... with Steve Weissman

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Alas, Poor Edgar, We Knew Him ...

– Red Sox Shuffle the Deck; Trade Renteria to Braves for Marte –

In a tragedy of not-quite-Shakespearean proportions, the Boston Red Sox today traded shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta for third-base prospect Andy Marte and $11 million in cash considerations.

Renteria, of course, was the Sox’s centerpiece free-agent acquisition just one year ago, but after turning in a 30-error season in the field and an ordinary performance at the plate, he evidently was not considered by the team to be worth the nearly $30 million remaining on his contract. Marte, on the other hand, is one of the brightest lights in the Braves’ famously-fertile farm system, but he still could be moved to Tampa Bay for Julio Lugo – after all, the Sox now have to fill a hole at shortstop (Hanley Ramirez, where are you now that we need you?) and already have a third baseman in newly-acquired Mike Lowell. I suppose Lowell could be packaged in a trade or moved to first base to make room for Marte, but my guess is that Marte will spend at least part of another year in AAA. And in either case, Sox still will have to come up with someone (Alex Gonzalez?) to play short.

Whatever happens, it has been enormously satisfying to see the Sox engage so actively in the market for players. After decades of near-stagnation under the Yawkey/Harrington regime, it’s wonderful to have owners that aren’t captive to their prior decisions. Renteria not working out? Send him packing, and give someone else a shot. Schilling and Foulke still injury-related question marks? Don’t just sit there; back them up with another front-line starter and a couple of credible relievers. Need a full-time second baseman? Go get one, even if it costs you the best backup catcher in baseball.

How all this will play out remains to be seen, of course. But isn’t that the fun of it? Shuffle the deck and build your hand, and then let the cards fall where they may. Kudos to the Sox for doing so – can’t wait for the games to begin!


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