Craig Breslow won't be the only deal the Red Sox make on trade deadline day, as Lars Anderson has finally been freed, sent to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for 27-year-old minor-league pitcher, Steven Wright.
Anderson was a top 100 prospect as recently as the 2010 season, but his stock has fallen over the years. Boston attempted to trade him as part of the Rich Harden package during last year's deadline, but when the trade fell apart, Anderson was once again stashed in Pawtucket, doomed to a career stuck behind Adrian Gonzalez.
He shifted to left field this season, adding to his defensive positions, and while it wasn't enough to get him to stick with the Red Sox when their outfield was decimated by injuries, it might have been enough to get the Indians to take him off of Boston's hands.
Anderson hit 259/.359/.415 for Triple-A Pawtucket in 2012, and has a career line of .262/.359/.414 at the level. He has the same problems he's had for a while now, as he's patient to the point of it being problematic -- passive is the best way to describe his approach. He shows flashes of power sometimes, though, and maybe in a new environment, where expectations are a bit different than they were, Anderson can finally turn into something. At least, that's what the Indians are hoping will happen. It's a bit of a longshot, but one Cleveland can afford to take.
On Boston's end, the deal opens up yet another spot on the 40-man roster, meaning that both Chris Carpenter and Andrew Bailey can come off of the 60-day disabled list when they are ready, without the Sox having to cut or move anymore players around.
They also get Wright, who, while 27 and most assuredly not a prospect, won't take up a 40-man spot, and throws a knuckler. We here at Over the Monster wholeheartedly endorse anyone attempting to make a career out of a knuckler, especially if they can try it out quietly as a non-roster player in the minors, Charlie Zink style. The knuckler is a newer part of his arsenal, and considering that, his walk rate doesn't look all that bad all of a sudden. He's as much of a longshot as Anderson, though, if not more so, just given the unpredictable nature of the pitch. That being said, it might be fun to drive to Double-A Portland, where Wright has been assigned, and catch him tossing that pitch, if you're feeling nostalgic.