Do you remember where you were on the night of November 12, 2010?
No? Good, because unless a momentous occasion happened in your life, than it shouldn’t ring a bell.
On that night, however, the Red Sox traded lefty relief pitcher Dustin Richardson to the then-Florida Marlins for fellow southpaw, Andrew Miller. The trade didn’t make headlines at the time, since the deal was your run of the mill flier-for-flier swap, but for Boston it was a big part of what eventually landed the team their fifth best pitching prospect.
Richardson, who was selected in the fifth round in the 2006 draft, enjoyed varying levels of success in Boston’s minor league system over the course of five seasons. The left-hander spent a brief four game stay on the Red Sox roster in 2009, and then pitched in over 25 games for Boston in 2010.
Richardson was traded to the Marlins in exchange for Andrew Miller following the 2010 season. Miller, a former first round pick and the center piece to the trade that landed Miguel Cabrera in Detroit, came to Boston as a diamond in serious need of polishing. The left-handers career in Boston began as a starting pitcher at both the minor league and major league levels. But after starting posting an ERA over 5.00 in 12 games for the Red Sox in 2011, the team relegated Miller to the bullpen. There, Miller excelled and has posted an ERA of 2.57 since being used as a full-time reliever in 2011.
With Miller an impending free agent, and the Red Sox well out of contention by the 2014 trade deadline, Boston shipped Miller to the Baltimore Orioles for yet another left-handed starter, Eduardo Rodriguez. The 21-year old is currently ranked the fifth best prospect per SoxProspects.com, and has the ceiling of a number 2 starter at the major league level. In 2014, the Venezuela native held a 3.60 ERA in 22 starts as a member of the the Bowie Bay Sox and the Portland Sea Dogs. Rodriguez, who boasts an upper 90’s fastball and two plus breaking pitches, also collected 108 strike outs and just 37 walks on the season.
From Richardson, to Miller, to Rodriguez, a trade like the seemingly unimportant minor league swap can be the genesis of something quite significant down the road.
- Despite the signings of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, the Red Sox will still pick seventh overall in this summer’s first year player draft. Boston was able to maintain their position in the draft thanks to a 71-91 record, which in turn protected them from turning over their pick as draft compensation. Instead, Boston surrendered their second and third round picks to the Dodgers and Giants respectively, and will not pick again until the 80th selection. (2015 draft order set: Boston Red Sox face huge gap between picks)
- With trade relations restored between the United States and Cuba, the MLB appears eager to tap into the baseball crazy market of central America. The Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles are two teams that have discussed the idea of playing exhibition games in Cuba, and could do so in a years time. Former Presidential candidate and known Red Sox fan John Kerry is believed to be one of the driving forces behind this new proposal. (Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles explore playing exhibition in Cuba)
- The Red Sox organization, as a whole, has a lot of question marks heading into the new season. After an offseason of revamping the roster, John Henry’s and Ben Cherington’s master plan will be put to the test, tasked with going worst-to-first for the second time in three years. On the field, Boston’s roster features bounce back candidates, as well as players trying to keep their footing in the majors. While a roster as promising as the Red Sox’ is comforting on paper, each player holds a significant amount of importance towards the team’s success in 2015. (Ranking most important Red Sox personnel in 2015, 2015 edition)
- How will you be able to tell if Dustin Pedroia is still viewed threat in the Red Sox order in 2015? It’s all a matter of how the opposition pitches to the second baseman. (How to tell quickly if Dustin Pedroia is back)
- Tweet of the day: Mookie arrives at The Fort.