|The Red Sox spent the hours leading up to the trade deadline making a pair of minor trades instead of acquiring big-name talent, as they have done in recent years. In the first deal, Boston traded three players and cash for Rangers for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. In the second, they shipped reliever Ramon Ramirez to the Giants for Double-A righthander Dan Turpen.
Ramirez gives the Giants another viable righthanded arm in the bullpen as they pursue San Diego in the National League West and try to hold on to their two-game lead for the wild card. (Earlier in the day, San Francisco acquired lefty reliever Javier Lopez from the Pirates.) Ramirez broke out with the Royals in 2008, when he struck out 8.8 batters per nine innings and pitched at 92-94 mph while serving as an effective eighth-inning option. The the Red Sox traded for him after the season. Ramirez’s strikeout rates fell noticeably in Boston as he didn’t always find that same velocity, even though he still managed to go 7-4, 2.84 in 2009. After struggling through the first two months of the season, when his ERA stood at 5.85, Ramirez had been better lately, posting a 3.22 ERA in 22 1/3 innings since the start of June.
For the first time since 2006, the Red Sox did not make any major moves at the deadline. Over the last three deadlines, Boston had brought in Eric Gagne (2007), traded away Manny Ramirez for Jason Bay (2008) and acquired Victor Martinez (2009). Boston sat 6 1/2 games behind the Rays in the American League wild card race and 7 1/2 behind the Yankees in the AL East, and their inactivity suggests that they’re either expecting triumphant returns from injured regulars like Josh Beckett, Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury or that they plan to be active during the August waiver trading period. A year ago, they landed Alex Gonzalez and Billy Wagner after the July 31 non-waiver deadline.
|Red Sox Acquire|
|Dan Turpen, rhp
Born: Aug. 17, 1986 in McMinnville, Ore.
Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 230. Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Oregon State.
Career Transactions: Selected by Giants in eighth round of 2007 draft; signed July 5, 2007.
A member of Oregon State’s back-to-back College World Series-winning clubs in 2006 and ’07, Turpen enjoyed his best year in pro ball in ’09, when he went 4-2, 1.24 in 65 innings with high Class A San Jose. Big and durable, Turpen’s not a guy who’s going to wow many observers, but he’s a strike-thrower who gets plenty of groundballs. He comes after hitters with a low-90s sinking fastball that can reach 94 mph, and he complements the heater with a changeup and slider that have the potential to be average offerings. Turpen will give up his share of hits, since he’ll be in the zone and doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he can be a useful piece in a middle-relief role.
|Ramon Ramirez, rhp
Age: 28. Remaining Commitment: 2 arbitration years remain (’11 and ’12) prior to free agency ($1.155 million salary in ’10).
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.