Saito for Blalock deal nixed; Smoltz to debut Jun 25

The Red Sox revealed that they were considering a trade of Takashi Saito for Hank Blalock with the Texas Rangers, but Josh Hamilton’s trip to the DL deep-sixed the talks last week. Blalock is a left-handed power threat whose bat has come around recently, and he is a DH-type who can play first or third base in a pinch. He’s making $6.2M in his walk year. Sounds like a decent acquisition to me. This confirms a couple of things about the way the front office views our team: they are indeed worried about David Ortiz, and they view the bullpen depth as a strength from which we should deal to get what we need.

Now that Big Papi is hitting .333/.429/.694 in 36 AB for the month of June, a lot of that anxiety has been lessened. But this is still a small sample size, and you can bet the Sox will have Jon Daniels on speed dial until the trade deadline passes.

John Smoltz announced that he expects to debut for the Sox next Thursday against the Washington Nationals. Hmm, I wonder how many pitchers have thrown a complete game shutout in their first start of the year?

Could Tim Wakefield finally make the All-Star team? Support is beginning to grow for the 9-game winner, and it would be a great honor to receive at least once before he hangs ’em up. He’s also trying a new training routine to avoid the late season breakdowns he’s been prone to the last couple of years.

Kevin Youkilis now leads Mark Teixeira in the All-Star voting at first (they were tied just a couple of days ago). Good job, Red Sox Nation!

The Sox inked second-round pick Alex Wilson. As a college grad, this was probably the easiest of the signings to come. Several of the high school players that were drafted already have commitments to various programs, and would have to see those dollar signs before they sign.

Minor leaguer Bubba Bell, probably the biggest dirt dog in our farm system, was just promoted to Triple-A. You deserve it for all your hard work!

The Red Sox have been uncharacteristically bad with the leather this year, but it has yet to hurt them record-wise. Let’s tighten up the defense a little guys!

Mike McDermott: No dice on your proposal to send Daisuke Matsuzaka to the bullpen. It won’t happen.


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