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Rockies acquire Marco Scutaro from Red Sox for Clayton Mortensen

Jan 21, 2012, 6:10 PM EDT

Marco Scutaro

UPDATE: Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM reports that the deal is done. The Red Sox are sending Marco Scutaro to the Rockies for right-hander Clayton Mortensen. Colorado will be responsible for Scutaro’s entire $6 million salary this season.

Mortensen, a 2007 supplemental first-round pick of the Cardinals, posted a 3.86 ERA and 30/24 K/BB ratio over 58 1/3 innings at the major league level last season. The 26-year-old sinkerballer had a ground ball rate of 52.7 percent, so he could have some value out of Boston’s bullpen, but this was a pure salary dump.

6:06 PM: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe and Alex Speier of WEEI.com are both hearing that a deal is “likely” to get done. These guys might have the same source.

Anyway, while moving Scutaro could free up salary to sign Roy Oswalt or Edwin Jackson, Speier mentions that the Red Sox could also consider a trade with the White Sox for right-hander Gavin Floyd. Floyd, who turns 29 later this month, is owed $7 million this season and his contract includes a $9.5 million option for 2013.

5:56 PM: The Rockies’ efforts to acquire Marco Sctuaro from the Red Sox hit a snag yesterday, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post now hears that the two sides are “finishing up” a trade.

The Red Sox are expected to receive a pitcher in return and Renck names right-hander Clayton Mortensen as a possibility. It’s hard to believe they wouldn’t get more in return, even if the Rockies are picking up most or all of Scutaro’s $6 million salary for 2012. It will be interesting to see if the Red Sox also try to get Jonathan Herrera, who could be thrown into the mix at shortstop with the likes of Mike Aviles, Nick Punto and possibly Jose Iglesias.

Scutaro would immediately slot in as the starting second baseman for the Rockies. The 36-year-old batted .299/.358/.423 with seven homers, 54 RBI and a .781 OPS over 113 games in 2011. He would be a marked improvement from a group that combined to bat just .256/.304/.351 with a .655 OPS last season.

As for the Red Sox, it appears they are motivated to move Sctuaro in order to clear some salary to sign a starting pitcher like Roy Oswalt or Edwin Jackson.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    If the Red Sox clear up salary space, would it make sense for them to dump Ortiz and sign Fielder?

    • bloodysock - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      How are they going to dump Ortiz and his guaranteed minimum $12.65 million for 2012? Nobody is picking up that contract.

  2. rollinghighwayblues - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Clayton Mortensen? Wow. Just keep em, Rockies. I see the stringbean helping very little other than mop-up/blowout duty. The Red Sox better have one hell of a rabbit stuck up their ass if they’re going to commit to this trade (fleece).

    Something tells me the Sox will eat crow if this deal goes down.

  3. paperlions - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    DJ, your phrasing makes it sound like the RS are sending Scutaro and $6M to the Rockies.

    • D.J. Short - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:28 PM

      Because that’s what they are doing.

      • bloodysock - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:32 PM

        To clarify, the Red Sox are trading Scutaro for Mortenson with the Rockies paying all of Scutaro’s $6 million salary for 2012.

      • D.J. Short - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:35 PM

        Indeed.

    • D.J. Short - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      Oh, whoops. My thinking is backwards.

    • D.J. Short - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:30 PM

      Or I didn’t word it very well. Long day. Either way, it’s fixed now.

  4. dondada10 - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    There goes Justin Turner.

    • bloodysock - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      I’d rather have Janine Turner.

      • drewzducks - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:23 PM

        Smokeshow but not sure I like her as much as a bleached blonde.

  5. Ben - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    What’s the world coming to when the Red Sox are dumping salary and the Yankees are “poor”?

  6. deathmonkey41 - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Don’t mind this at all- the little bugger killed the Yankees the past few years.

  7. neelyisgod - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Sign Prince, dump Ortiz, trade A-Gone for Hanley like what was rumored during the Pujols saga and make Varitek the DH……. Ok so I’m kidding a little. Maybe some of it is true though.

    • bigharold - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:41 PM

      What? You earn a living at Comedy Central?

      Ortiz isn’t worth anywhere near the 12+ Mil he’s going to get from the RS to any other team in baseball, .. hell he’s not worth that to the RS. After feeling burned by the Lackey and Crawford contracts the RS are going to trade the FA that actually is earning his keep for another FA that will be as expensive as the the two that aren’t earning their’s and for a commitment for twice as long?

      Your kidding more than a little.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 21, 2012 at 8:05 PM

        Ortiz isn’t worth anywhere near the 12+ Mil he’s going to get from the RS to any other team in baseball

        Oh come on, he was one of the best hitters in MLB last year when he hit .309/.398/.554 for a .405 wOBA and 153 wRC+. He was worth 4.2 fWAR even after the huge DH deduction. And the year prior, just two years removed from wrist surgery he hit .270/.370/.529 for a .380 wOBA and 133 wRC+ which was worth 2.6 fWAR.

        Both years put him over the $12M worth he was paid.

      • bigharold - Jan 21, 2012 at 8:17 PM

        Ortiz had a couple of rough, (including one horrible), season start. At some point he’s going to start the season slow,, .. and stay that way. Also, I think the market has corrected a bit on pure DH’s. Especially old ones that absolutely can’t pay the field with the increased number of inter league games. Add into that the current realities of the CBA and their affect on the luxury tax…

        I appreciate Ortiz’s ability but he’s getting up there in age and never could play defense. He’s only getting a 12+ mil plus offer from the RS because of arbitration. If he went on the open market, no way he gets an offer over 10 mil. It’s the current economic realities of baseball.

  8. proudlycanadian - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    The Red Sox are on a pace to finish fourth in the AL East this season. At least, Bobby V. will keep the fans entertained.

  9. Glenn - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Am I missing something? Didn’t the Red Sox just pick up Scutaro’s option this fall? Now they’re dumping his reasonable salary to get a middling reliever, but now don’t have a shortstop I don’t get it.

    • bigharold - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

      You clearly get it but does the RS FO get it.

      This better have something to do with signing Oswalt or Jackson or PC is right they are headed to four, ..or fifth.

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 22, 2012 at 6:47 AM

        Lets not get too carried away. Baltimore is still a mess.

    • bigharold - Jan 22, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      Yeah, the O’s are a mess but interestingly enough they now have the guy that actually put together the 2004 RS WS team.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 22, 2012 at 2:50 PM

        …and the manager who set up for those ’96-2000 Yankees teams. Let’s not forget Showalter helped turn around the Yankees losing culture, and the Rangers.

  10. 24missed - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    This sucks.

    Seriously, since the Nomar deal, have the Sox ever been able to keep a shortstop for any length of time? The Curse of Nomar.

    This sucks.

    • bigharold - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:44 PM

      Ask yourself, .. who traded Nomar and then got every other SS since?

      Perhaps trading Nomar was essential but Epstein absolutely sucked at acquiring a SS specifically and FA in general.

      • 24missed - Jan 21, 2012 at 9:01 PM

        I know.

        Is the rotating shortstop game ever going to end? We actually had a good guy. A really good guy.

    • skeleteeth - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:55 PM

      More like curse of letting Orlando Cabrera walk. Had they not done so we would have had average to avg+ defense and production @ SS and not had to have dealt with the embarrassment of Renteria and Lugo.

      I don’t like/understand this deal given picking up his option out of the gate at season end. That and Scutaro killed the Yankees. At least that’s what Yankee fans tell me when I talk trash about him.

      • skeleteeth - Jan 21, 2012 at 8:00 PM

        Oh, Rockies got the tab. Whatever, still don’t like it.

      • 24missed - Jan 21, 2012 at 9:03 PM

        Please don’t even bring up Renteria and Lugo. This is a sad enough post.

  11. xpensivewinos - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    The money is off the books to get a pitcher, but who plays short every day. There’s gotta be another deal to follow.

    Maybe Bartlett in SD????

  12. drewzducks - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Other than Ellsbury was their best player down the stretch (I know that’s not saying alot) and by all reports a great character guy unlike most of their assorted lot. so rather than buying him out for 1.5M they pick up their option for 6M then cry poverty so they trade him for a bag of balls and are left with a hole at SS, only the most important defensive position, and by the way still have no SP depth and questionable health all the while their chief rivals in NY and TB have SP excess. Will be lucky to finish 3rd at this rate. That’s right…I keep forgetting the Theo compensation…playoffs here we come….

  13. bozosforall - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    The Red Sox just continue to get worse and worse. LMAO

  14. uyf1950 - Jan 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Dump $6MM in salary in Scutaro and get who? Clayton Mortensen another relief pitcher with an occasional start. What are the Red Sox trying to do corner the market on relief/reclamation pitchers that no one wants? So they free up $6MM and trade their starting SS to potentially go after Oswalt who is looking for a 1 year $8MM deal or possibly Jackson who will command at least 4 years and $12MM per or Gavin Floyd via a trade with the White Sox for prospects and the 2 years and $16.5MM remaining due him.
    Doesn’t seem like the most logical way to get under or nearer the $178MM luxury tax threshold for 2012. In fact if they go through with any of those trade or signings it puts them further past the luxury tax in 2012. And they lost/gave away their starting SS.

    So much for their confidence that Bard and Aceves could handle the starting job at the back of the rotation.

    I asked yesterday when the subject of this trade came up. Who was steering the SS Minnow (AKA: SS Red Sox)? I guess we have our answer.

    • bozosforall - Jan 22, 2012 at 12:12 AM

      Right on target, uyf1950.

  15. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 22, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    1. Love the scutaro walk of shame pic

    2. This deal makes sense for the Red Sox if the pick up Oswalt…and he’s willing to play shortstop

    3. Since Scutaro seems to do well against people like Sabathia, Burnett, Garcia and Robertson (plus a few memorable cuts against Mariano) I won’t be sad to see him playing in the NL Left

  16. hushbrother - Jan 22, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    So Nick Punto is gonna be the Red Sox shortstop this year. I only have one word: Huh??

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 22, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      Sadly, it wouldn’t be the worst SS they have had over the last 10 years

  17. crisisjunky - Jan 22, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    maybe ‘Oswald’ has a couple magic bullets left….

  18. bigharold - Jan 22, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    ” magic bullets ”

    Won’t they get him a 50 game suspension?

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