The Red Sox have traded center fielder Coco Crisp to the Royals for reliever Ramon Ramirez. This is a huge steal for the Red Sox. They didn’t need Crisp at all. The only use Crisp had for the team was being a guy who could step into an outfield spot if JD Drew got hurt or if Jacoby Ellsbury struggled. The Sox have the money to sign a different guy like him, and that type of player isn’t a big hole to fill. Great middle relievers, on the other hand, are a big hole. The Red Sox bullpen was very shakey in the second half of the season. I’m not saying that this Ramon Ramirez guy can step in and become the answer, but he was lights out in Kansas City. His stats: 2.64 ERA in 71 innings with 70 strikeouts. If he can do even part of that in Boston, the Red Sox win the deal. The Royals, meanwhile, finally got good at something: middle relievers. When you finally get lights out in one area, you don’t begin trading it away. The Royals should be trading players with few years left on their contract for players with many, not the other way around. They probably aren’t going to contend next year, and after that Crisp will be gone while Ramirez will be setting up for Jonathan Paplebon in Boston. The Royals dealt 2 of their top 3 setup men. That bullpen now needs some help, but there is no money left over after these previous two trades. The good part of the trade for the Royals is that they now can move David DeJesus over to left field and trade or non-tender Mark Teahen. Overall, I would give the Royals a C- on this trade while giving the Red Sox a B+.
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