|The Red Sox traded 36-year-old shortstop Marco Scutaro to the Rockies for righthander Clayton Mortensen, a 26-year-old groundball-oriented starter who has yet to establish himself in the big leagues. The trade frees up $6 million for Boston in 2012, money they could apply toward new personnel—a starting pitcher, perhaps?—but the move also leaves shortstop in the hands of Mike Aviles, Nick Punto or Jose Iglesias for the time being.
The Rockies’ extreme makeover continues. Since the July 31 trade deadline they’ve parted with ace Ublado Jimenez, catcher Chris Iannetta, closer Huston Street, third baseman Ian Stewart and corner outfielder Seth Smith. They also dealt away 2006 and 2007 first-rounders Greg Reynolds and Casey Weathers in separate transactions. They traded for and then traded away Kevin Slowey in the span of six weeks this winter.
For the most part, Colorado has targeted young pitchers with little service time in its flurry of trades. They’ve acquired Drew Pomeranz and Alex White (for Jimenez), Tyler Chatwood (for Iannetta), high Class A lefty Nick Schmidt (for Street), Josh Outman and Guillermo Moscoso (for Smith) and Zach Putnam (for Slowey). On the position-player front, the Rockies have committed $22 million for 2012 to add veterans such as catcher Ramon Hernandez, third baseman Casey Blake, shortstop Scutaro (who shifts to second base with Troy Tulowitzki in Colorado) and right fielder Michael Cuddyer.
|Red Sox Acquire|
|Clayton Mortensen, rhp
Born: April 10, 1985 in Rexburg, Idaho.
Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 185. Bats: R. Throws: R.
Career Transactions: Selected by Cardinals in supplemental first round (36th overall) of 2007 draft; signed June 12, 2007 … Traded by Cardinals with 3B Brett Wallace and OF Shane Peterson to Athletics for OF Matt Holliday, July 24, 2009 … Traded by Athletics to Rockies for RHP Ethan Hollingsworth, Jan. 24, 2011.
Mortensen pitches in the high 80s with plus sink, tops out near 92 mph and mixes in a low-80s changeup to induce grounders at an above-average rate (51.3 percent of balls in play) over his 95 career big league innings. Of course, he doesn’t have much of a breaking ball, and his other peripherals do not paint a pretty picture—4.7 strikeouts, 3.7 walks and 9.8 hits per nine innings. Mortensen has spent most of his career in Triple-A, running up a 5.26 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 447 innings for three Pacific Coast League clubs, Memphis, Sacramento and Colorado Springs. Optioned to the minors in three seasons already, he probably will qualify for a fourth option year in 2012.
|Marco Scutaro, ss
Age: 36. Bats: R. Remaining Commitment: 1 year, $6 million.
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.