Thursday, August 17, 2006

Eric Hinske

The Red Sox finally picked up a lefty bat for the bench, as they're on the verge of acquiring Eric Hinske from the Blue Jays in exchange for a low-level minor leaguer. This trade is laughably overdue, as the Sox had been carrying 13 pitchers on the 25-man roster (and yet still leaving some relievers in to pitch two innings at a time) for more than a week. Of course, with the one day you'd really need 13 pitchers, the Yankee doubleheader, coming up tomorrow, I can't say that I fully understand the timing of this trade.

Regardless, Hinske will help. He'll be able to give Lowell and Youkilis the occasional day off, which will hopefully encourage Francona to hit Wily Mo Pena higher in the order. He could also platoon with Pena against some righties, as he's mashing .294/.376/.575 against them. This season, it's hard to find the downside. I just hope that to make room for him they DFA Rudy Seanez instead of sending Breslow down.

However, Hinske is signed for next year, and even with the Blue Jays picking up half of his salary, I'm not sure he's of much long-term assistance to the Sox. But I guess we'll worry about next year next year - right now, I'll take it, as long as the prospect is nothing special.

In semi-related news, the Red Sox also signed Carlos Pena to a minor league deal, which is a useless, Boston-Bruins-type move if I've ever seen one. "Hey, let's sign the local kid with no upside - The papers will eat it up!" I guess with Choi struggling so much that nobody even claimed him off of waivers, there's no downside either. Whatever.


Sully said...

It's now official - Hinske and cash for a PTBNL. Late reports said that the Jays were picking up all of Hinske's salary for the rest of this year, along with half of his salary in 2007. I'm liking this deal more and more as the day goes on.

Now DFA Seanez!

Warren said...

Yeah, there's not much downside here. Hinske has gone from solid regular to backup, but he's still a useful player to have on the bench. He's a bit pricey for that role for next season, but I agree - deal with that then. Even if he's useless next year, he's not wasting all that much payroll.