Edgar Renteria’s tenure in Boston was a short one.
The Sox dealt Renteria and cash considerations to Atlanta today in exchange for top prospect Andy Marte (third baseman). The Red Sox agreed to pay $11 million of the remaining $32 million left on Renteria’s contract ($29 million over three years plus a $3 million buyout — his deal has a club option for 2009).
The Red Sox are now expected to sign a free-agent shortstop to replace Renteria rather than pursue a trade with the Devil Rays for Julio Lugo, as had been rumored the last couple of days here at the winter meetings.
Some likely candidates to fill Renteria’s shoes include Alex Gonzalez, Royce Clayton, and Pokey Reese.
Red Sox senior adviser Bill Lajoie said he expected to see Marte play for the Red Sox this year, putting him in the outfield or first base if it’s necessary to get his bat in the lineup.
“We want to keep that player. … He’s ready to have a good year,” said Lajoie, one of four Boston executives at the winter meetings in the absence of a general manager. “He would be one of the five players you would want to start a ballclub with.”
Renteria made the last out for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series, when Boston won it all for the first time since 1918. Then, the Red Sox made him the centerpiece of their effort to repeat.
But he led the majors with 30 errors in ’05, struggling at the plate in April and finishing with a .276 average, eight homers and 70 RBIs. The Red Sox had been hoping for something more like the .330 average, 13 homers and 100 RBIs he had when he won his second consecutive Gold Glove in 2003.
Marte, 22, batted .275 with 20 homers and 74 RBIs in 109 games in Triple-A last season, and .140 with no homers and four RBIs in 24 games with the Braves.
The Braves needed a shortstop after Rafael Furcal signed a three-year, $39 million free agent contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“We had a significant gap to fill, and we believe we’ve done that,” Braves GM John Schuerholz said. “As painful as it is to trade a player with Marte’s caliber, it needed to be done. The Red Sox got a fine young player, and we’re delighted to have Edgar Renteria with the Atlanta Braves.”
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.