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Daily Links - Scutaro Scoots Edition

Another *YAWN* Super Bowl appearance *YAWN* for the *YAWN* PatrioSNOOOOORE.

Link time!

The big news this weekend was the surprising trade of starting shortstop Marco Scutaro for nothing at all AAA pitcher Clayton Mortensen nothing at all. The Sox shipped Scutaro and, more importantly, his $6 million salary to the Colorado Rockies for a AAA starter in Clayton Mortensen who had recently been cut. Let's be clear, folks. This was a straight salary dump. Yes, the Red Sox are now the proud owners of a profoundly mediocre AAA starting pitcher which they wouldn't be if they hadn't picked up Scutaro's option, so that's something, but don't confuse it for much. Alex Speier at has more details on Mortensen, but if you see him in a Red Sox uniform this year it's because he's mastered the knuckleball or the entire major league roster was devoured by our new ant overlords. I'm talking coaches, everybody.

Count SB Nation's Rob Neyer as flummoxed by the Red Sox move. I agree. If nothing else the timing is odd. It isn't unreasonable to think if the Red Sox traded their starting shortstop, a player significantly better than anyone else they have on their roster who would replace him, that they might have another move in their back pocket. Think back to 2003 when the Red Sox were about to acquire Alex Rodriguez from Texas. I know, we all try to forget that, but unlock that part of your memory and you'll find that the A-Rod deal wasn't the only move the team had going. The Red Sox had a deal lined up to send Nomar Garciaparra to the White Sox for Magglio Ordonez which was contingent upon completion of the A-Rod deal. Because the A-Rod trade never happened, Ordonez stayed in Chicago. I'm surprised the Sox didn't have something similar worked out with whomever their next target is, be it Oswalt or someone else. Having both deals nailed down before pulling the trigger reduces the possibility of dealing your starting shortstop and ending up with just Clayton Mortensen.

Bill James, inexplicably writing at Grantland* lays out in utterly insane detail (his words), the one hundred best pitchering duels of 2011. I'm in no position to argue with any of it and, as Mr. James makes clear, neither are you.

* Mr. James - I hereby formally invite you to do a piece here at OTM; any piece you like. I don't care if you write about your cat, your least favorite bean, or why you dislike your next-door neighbor's wiener dog. Scribble it on a cocktail napkin.

Jason Roberts at Fan Graphs thinks the Red Sox could use some outfield help. He's right in a sense. With Carl Crawford on the DL for an indeterminate amount of time (though it shouldn't be too long past Opening Day), back ups like Darnell McDonald will see more playing time than is ideal. But, Jacoby Ellsbury, possibly the best all around center fielder in baseball as Mr. Roberts notes, and roughly 150 games of real actual Carl Crawford (as opposed to the Brian-Anderson-minus-defense we got last year) should/could make for one of the better outfields in baseball. Of course, that mostly depends on Crawford's return and whether he comes back closer to the 2010 or 2011 Crawford. I, for one, am not worried. Yet.

The Red Sox also settled on a one year contract with Daniel Bard. No matter his role this upcoming season, he should be a bargain at just over $1.6 million. Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal has the details.

Finally, sometimes you find comments to articles where you just know the author was trolling. People write ridiculous things encased in the anonymity of the interwebs and sometimes people like to push other people's buttons. But, other times you come across comments written by people who literally don't know what they're talking about. All of us started off ignorant about baseball and have built up our knowledge through years of self-education, so I do my best to give people the benefit of the doubt. Then though, there are the comments where I just can't discern the writer's intent one way or the other. Are they deliberately being dumb, trying to get under the skin of others, or are they just figuring things out and maybe commenting a bit before they should? The first comment on this article has me confused. Is this person trolling? Are they uninformed? I can't decide.