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Blog Entry

Astros, Red Sox make three-player trade

Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:56 am
Edited on: December 14, 2011 4:18 pm
 
By Matt Snyder

New Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow has made his trade, and it just so happens to be the first big-league trade for new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington as well. The Astros have acquired shortstop Jed Lowrie and pitcher Kyle Weiland from the Red Sox in exchange for relief pitcher Mark Melancon. The Astros officially announced the move Wednesday afternoon.

Is it possible the Red Sox are going to make Melancon their closer, instead of going after a potentially high-priced free agent like Ryan Madson? With Jonathan Papelbon out the door, the Red Sox are in need of a closer and have seemed reluctant to spend tons of money this offseason. Melancon, 26, had 20 saves in 25 chances with a 2.78 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. He struck out 66 batters in 74 1/3 innings.

Of course, the Red Sox have been discussing a move of Daniel Bard to the starting rotation -- and reports from the Boston area say it's already been decided -- so maybe they sign Madson and use Melancon in the eighth? The back-end of the bullpen would seem awfully shaky going with Bobby Jenks in the eighth and Melancon in the ninth. Adding another arm seems more likely than standing pat. Also note: The Red Sox have been connected with A's closer Andrew Bailey in trade rumors.

Update: CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports the Red Sox are still seeking a closer. They see Melancon as a setup man with the potential to close eventually.

Lowrie, 27, hit .252/.303/.382 last year in a big-time disappointing performance. He had a great small-sample showing in 2010 (.907 OPS), so there's potential here. I'd guess Lowrie becomes the Astros' starting shortstop, but there's so much unknown with the club now under new direction. We really have no idea how much tinkering will be done before opening day.

Weiland, 25, was a rookie last season for the Red Sox and got knocked around pretty well. He went 0-3 with a 7.66 ERA, 1.66 WHIP and gave up 29 hits in 24 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old right-hander was 8-10 with a 3.58 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 24 Triple-A starts. Of note, Weiland moves much closer to his roots than he would have been in Boston, as he went to high school in Albuquerque, N.M.

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Comments
DEX_MORGAN
Since: Dec 14, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 3:45 pm
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Since: Jan 18, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 3:41 pm
 

Astros, Red Sox make three-player trade

What about Michael Bowden?  Any chance he closes?


DEX_MORGAN
Since: Dec 14, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 1:39 pm
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DEX_MORGAN
Since: Dec 14, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 1:32 pm
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Since: Dec 14, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2011 12:25 pm
 

Astros, Red Sox make three-player trade

Glad to see Lowerie get a chance to play all the time. He just hasn't seemed to do more than impress for a few games, and then go down for a while..etc. Almost JD Drew-ish in his ability to play a full season. A new ball club might be just what he needs.



Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2011 12:06 pm
 

Astros, Red Sox make three-player trade

This wasn't necesarily a bad trade for the Sox, but I don't know if I would be so quick to give up on Jed Lowrie. The guy is entering his prime and plays at a very thin position offensively. A quality hitting SS should be able to reel in a lot more than just a middle reliever. And they gave up Weiland too to get him. If Jose Iglesias is the answer for the future that's a plan, but for a guy like Lowrie I think the Sox would've been smart holding onto him until his trade stock rose more.



Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2011 10:09 am
 

Astros, Red Sox make three-player trade

Scratch that, just remembered Barmes went to the Pirates. Either way, this move is a good thing for Lowrie professionally. Pedroia and Youkilis and Gonzalez are taking up three spots long term in Boston's infield, and Jose Iglesias is the heir apparent at short. Jed had nowhere to go. Lowrie can resurrect his career with the 'Stros, a team that is essentially starting from scratch after unloading Berkman, Pence, Oswalt, etc. and probably Wandy and others soon to come.



Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2011 10:05 am
 

Astros, Red Sox make three-player trade

And on another note, for you fantasy guys out there (I count myself as one), I think Lowrie will be an intriuging option in NL-only leagues. In mixed he won't matter because there are easily 10-12 better shortstops, but in NL-only where it thins out he could be a real sleeper. Sometimes guys need a fresh start, with a franchise that views Player X as a starter and puts their faith in them, you see it all the time in MLB. Barmes will play 2B and Lowrie, if healthy, could make his way into the Ian Desmond-Rafael Furcal range, behind obvious guys like Tulo, Reyes, Starlin Castro, Stephen Drew, etc. Defeinitely worth a late-round flier to fill out the bench and see what happens.



Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2011 9:57 am
 

Astros, Red Sox make three-player trade

Hey Dex--that's multiple posts I've see you use the irony joke..you do understand what irony means right? Lifting from the good 'ol dictionary...irony is the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning. Your posts about Bobby V, Melancon, Punto etc. don't make sense.
And by the way..it's not like the Yankees are having an offseason for the ages either. Have fun with those A-Rod and Jeter contratcs, those are going to be killing the Yankees for years to come, just as badly as the Dice-K and Lakcey deals are hurting the Sox. Melancon won't be the Sox closer, he will be an 8th inning guy. The Sox haven't got their closer yet. Stay tuned and expect a FA or a trade to come (Andrew Bailey is a possibility). I'm not defending the Punto move, because he does completely suck, but the only move so far that has hurt the Red Sox is Papelbon leaving. They did the right thing letting him walk, Philly overpaid for him. Now they just need to find his replacement, simple as that. Bard would have been an option but he is moving into the rotation, which is equivalent to the Sox going out and signing a 15-16 game winner in my opinion. The rotation will see a boost, adding Bard and subtracting Lackey.



Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2011 8:43 am
 

Astros, Red Sox make three-player trade

The Sox need arms in the pen, so it's not a bad move.  I was hoping Weiland could fill Wakefield's role this year, but I'll gladly give that up for a reliever with an ERA under 3.00 (even if was was just against the weak sisters of the NL).


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com