Repairing the Sox-the Loretta and Marte acquisitions

Thursday, December 08 2005 @ 12:58 PM EST

Contributed by: Mike Green

The Red Sox have acquired top prospect Andy Marte for Edgar Renteria. With the previous acquisition of Mark Loretta, both the Sox infield and their offence has undergone a substantial renovation. Further changes may be in store, but it's a good time to take stock. Thanks to Cristian and Chuck for alerting us to the trade.

As of this moment, the trades leave the Sox with Loretta at second, Marte at third, and no established shortstop. Presumably Mike Lowell moves from third to first with the current personnel. The trading of both Hanley Ramirez and Edgar Renteria might seem odd, but the Sox do have a plan C at shortstop in the event that other transactions do not come to fruition. That would be Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia rocketed through the Sox farm system, hitting very well at every level. This summer after promotion to triple A Pawtucket, his hitting suffered apparently due to a July wrist injury, but he still posted a very sweet 25/17 W/K ratio.

So, where does that leave the Sox as of today? A Marte, Pedroia, Loretta, Lowell infield would likely be a significant improvement over last year's Mueller, Renteria, Bellhorn, Millar configuration. An offence with Loretta, Pedroia, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, Jason Varitek, Andy Marte and Trot Nixon should lead the league in runs scored. The Sox no longer need above average offence out of their centerfielder. What they need is a centerfielder who plays good defence and speed. They will not need to break the bank for that.

Other moves may be coming, but it looks to me like the Sox have done very well so far, despite the departure of Theo Epstein. We'll come back to the topic in March, with a fuller look at the offence and the pitching.