Red Sox Moves
The Red Sox made a trade with the Astros today sending Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland to Houson for Mark Melancon. I think this may be good move for both clubs.
I like Jed Lowrie but honestly he's not as good as Marco Scutaro, Kevin Youkilis or Dustin Pedroia. Not even close. Where and when would he play? And is he as good as super prospects Will Middlebrooks or Jose Iglesias? Again - not close. In short there was no future with the Red Sox barring a big injury and Lowrie suddenly learning how to hit right handed pitching (career .214 BA and .635 OPS in 529 AB). For the Astros - Lowrie can step in and be the starting shortstop and be a 20 HR guy at Minute Maid Park. If Lowrie was a bigger name player you would see the Red Sox PR machine gearing up to bad mouth him on his way out of town.
Kyle Weiland would have been an innings eater at Pawtucket this year for the Red Sox but for the Astros he can easily step in and be the 5th starter or even 4th starter. The Astros rotation is awful and they are actively trying to trade Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers. I could easily see Weiland giving them double the innings as a starter that they got from Mack Melancon last season. There's a value in that and you never know - Weiland could blossom into a very good NL starter.
Mark Melancon was the Astros closer last year but ask yourself - how valuable can any closer be to a 100-loss team? You could have Mo Rivera and what real good would it do you? So the Astros get a starting shortstop and a starting pitcher but they give up a young serviceable closer. In return the Red Sox get a guy who can close but who most likely will be a 7th or 8th inning guy and who is just 2 months older than Daniel Bard.
Yesterday the Red Sox signed veteran catcher Kelly Shoppach to a 1-year $1.35 million deal. A deal that basically signals the end to the Jason Varitek era in Boston. Stoppach has a career .909 OPS vs LHP including a .788 OPS last year. This foreshadows a platoon with Jarrod Saltalamacchia in 2012.