07 December 2005

Mirabelli Traded to San Diego...

Sox and Padres agree in principle for a trade of backup C Doug Mirabelli for veteran 2B Mark Loretta.

According to the article, announcement of the trade is being held up per San Diego's request, as they try to resolve the Trevor Hoffman deal. Supposedly this deal was an effort to clear salary for that contract.

This is a great deal for the Sox, who were interested in a stopgap 2B in order to develop AAA prospect Dustin Pedroia for another season. For Loretta they gave up a backup catcher- a great backup catcher to be sure, but talent-wise, this one is advantage: Boston.

Here are Loretta's last four seasons in MIL/HOU and SDP. Keep in mind his 2005 was hampered by a torn ligament in his thumb, which required surgery and limited both his playing time and his effectiveness.

2002 (MIL)_____.267___.350___.359_____2_____91
2002 (HOU)_____.424___.481___.576_____2____173
2002 (TOT)_____.304___.381___.410_____4____111
2003 (SDP)_____.314___.372___.441____13____120
2004 (SDP)_____.335___.391___.495____16____136
2005 (SDP)_____.280___.360___.347_____3_____96

Loretta had a three year improvement from 02-04, culminating in his MVP-level season for the Padres in 2004. He levelled off in 2005, though, and as is plainly obvious, his injury sapped him of his power. If he sits somewhere in between 2004 and 05, he'll be a huge bargain for us considering his salary (~$3 million) and what he gave up to attain him.

That said- I'll miss The Stud Who Hits Bombs. Doug Mirabelli, whom we acquired mid-2001 from Texas for Justin Duchscherer (as insurance for then- injured Jason Varitek), came into Boston and was, easily, the best backup catcher in baseball, working on a regular schedule as Tim Wakefield's catcher. Defensively he is a superior catcher, and he provided great offense- especially in 2004 (and against LHP in particular). You gotta like the deal, but Dougie's gonna be missed.

The other benefit of this deal? It seals the Soriano rumor possibilities up. I would have hated to have Soriano on the Red Sox. Totally overrated player.

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