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Nice catch for Cleveland

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  September 23, 2008 02:55 PM

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(Actually, in retrospect, the Braves made out very well in the long run, essentially swapping Marte for two good seasons of Renteria, then moving him to the Tigers for promising starter Jair Jurrjens and outfield prospect Gorkys Hernandez.)

As far as Crisp is concerned, I trust you need no lengthy rehash of his inconsistent three-year run with the Sox, so let's leave it at this: The Sox thought they were getting considerably more than a younger version of Darren Lewis.

It's worth noting that Shoppach was seriously overmatched during his lone, brief stint with the Red Sox, going 0 for 15 with seven strikeouts during a Cup O' Joe in '05. While some reports at the time indicated the Indians insisted on Shoppach in the deal, it's fair to wonder if the 2001 second-round pick's stock had slipped in the eyes of the Red Sox' talent evaluators.

Now, I realize our vision in hindsight here is sharper than Ted Williams's in his prime, but it's hard to watch Shoppach in this series without wondering if the Red Sox made the shortsighted mistake of trading the ideal replacement for Varitek.

I'll be curious to see how the Indians handle their catching situation after the season. Martinez is expected to move to first base, but there's also the possibility that they will keep him behind the plate and shop the 28-year-old Shoppach, who certainly would be coveted.

Should that scenario occur, I'd hope the Red Sox would show interest . . . though I suspect Indians GM Mark Shapiro would demand far more than Coco Crisp for him.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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