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July 18, 2005 at 4:45 PM

Analysis: Theo's Trading Deadline Record -2003

With trade rumors swirling as the July 31 trade deadline inches closer and closer, let's take a brief glimpse at the trades Theo Epstein has made during his tenure as Sox GM, starting with 2003.

Phil Dumatrait sent to Cincinnati for Scott Williamson. Overall, one of Boy Wonder's better trades, picking up a much-needed bullpen arm for the stretch for a lower-tier prospect. Although Williamson is no longer with the Sox, his presence on the much-maligned "closer by committee" bullpen helped carry the team to the playoffs in 2003, at which point he actually became the "official" closer. Dumatrait spent all of 2004 on the disabled list, and is currently 3-9, with an ERA of 2.89 for the AA Chattanooga Lookouts. Overall grade: B+

Anastacio Martinez and Brandon Lyon sent to Pittsburgh for Scott Sauerbeck and Mike Gonzalez. Had Lyon not been "damaged goods", this trade had the potential to be a steal. Gonzalez turned out to be an effective lefty specialist, with a 3.29 ERA and 29Ks in 28 innings of relief out of the Pirates 'pen this year. Sauerbeck turned out to be a disaster for the Sox in 2003, finishing the season with a bloated ERA of 6.48. AMart and Lyon were both fireballers out of the bullpen and both would soon make return engagements with Sox. Overall Grade: C-

Gonzalez and Freddy Sanchez sent to Pittsburgh for Jeff Suppan, Lyon and AMart. Because Lyon was hurt at the time of the trade, the Pirates cried foul and essentially traded him and Martinez back to the Sox while re-acquiring Mike Gonzalez (interestingly enough, they did not ask for Sauerbeck). In short, the Sox traded Sanchez for Suppan straight-up. The Sox needed pitching depth down the stretch. Suppan failed to deliver, getting racked to the tune of a 5.57 ERA in August and September, and, subsequently, left off the Sox 2003 playoff roster. Unfortunately, the trade didn't pan out exactly the way the Bucs planned it either, as Sanchez was injured soon after the trade was made, and was forced to sit out the remainder of 2003 and a good chunk of the 2004 as well. Today, Sanchez plays 2B/3B for the Pirates, and is hitting .264, with 1:1 K/BB ratio that would make Mark Bellhorn detractors salivate. Overall grade: C

Overall, the 2003 deadline deals produced very average results. In his first year at GM, Theo held his own, as attempts to get Javier Vasquez/Sidney Ponson fell through. But in all fairness -who knew that Suppan and Sauerbeck, who were both pitching well for the Pirates at the time of their respective deals, would absolutely flounder (pardon the maritime pun) in Boston?