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Boston Red Sox Ship Franklin Morales to Colorado Rockies

December 18th, 2013 at 4:10 PM
By Ron Juckett

The Boston Red Sox traded left-handed reliever Franklin Morales to the Colorado Rockies Wednesday afternoon for middle-infielder Jonathan Herrera. Boston threw in minor league pitcher Chris Martin to complete the deal.

Morales, purchased by the Red Sox from Colorado on May 19, 2011, was envisioned to be a spot-starter and long reliever with Boston.

In three seasons with the Sox, Morales appeared in 93 games, starting 10, compiling a won-loss record of 6-7 and an ERA of 3.90. One of the few bright spots in an otherwise forgettable 2012, Morales went 3-4 with an ERA of 3.77 mixing nine starts over 37 games.

Morales slumped in 2013 and saw his ERA balloon to 4.62 over 20 appearances as fellow lefty Craig Breslow won the favor of manager John Farrell out of the bullpen.

Morales ended his Boston career with ineffective mop-up duty in playoffs against Tampa and Detroit.

Going west with Morales is Martin.

Drafted out of college by the Rockies in 2005, Martin signed as a minor league free agent by the Red Sox before the 2011 season after a successful stint with the independent league Grand Prairie AirHogs out of Texas.

Making the trip from Single-A to Triple-A in three seasons in the Red Sox farm system, Martin developed into a solid long reliever for Pawtucket, capable of going a couple of innings an appearance. With the PawSox, he struck out 47 hitters in 51 innings over 30 games with an ERA of 3.18

In return, Boston gets some needed infield depth with Herrera.

The 29-year-old has been a utility player with the Rockies the last four seasons, playing in as many as 104 games in 2011. A solid singles hitter that can hit for a decent average, he has no power to speak of and is not a threat to steal bases.

In the five seasons he played at Coors Field, Herrera hit .265 with a career best .292 coming this past season. Herrera has 28 career doubles in 375 games to go with seven triples and eight home runs.

Used by Colorado primarily as a second baseman, Herrera also logged time at shortstop and third base. His career range factor is above league average at second and short but below average at third. In his career, he started 228 of 375 games.

Herrera is under Boston’s control through the 2015 season and gives added depth if Dustin Pedroia, and whomever starts at shortstop this year, need a rest during a game or a spot start. Although not a bad player, Herrera is not coming in to take Stephen Drew’s place in the roster.

Not beloved during his time in Boston, Morales gets a second chance to reestablish his career as an effective left-handed reliever in the pitching friendly ballparks of the National League West. Morales has one season left before hitting free agency.

The wild card might be Martin. After an unsuccessful conversion to a starter, Colorado picks up a pitcher that could not get a spot in the Boston pen but will undoubtedly get his major league chance with the Rockies.

At first blush, Colorado probably got the better end of this one.

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Tags: Baseball, Boston, Boston Red Sox, Chris Martin, Colorado Rockies, Franklin Morales, Grand Prairie AirHogs, Jonathan Herrera, MLB

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