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July 20, 2005 at 7:35 PM

Analysis: Theo's Trading Deadline Record -2004

After 2003's trade deadline, which showed that Boy Wonder was not afraid to pull the trigger, one could only imagine what he had up his sleeve in 2004. To say he shook things up at the 2004 trade deadline would be a huge understatement, as Epstein proved that no one was immune from being traded, not even a Red Sox icon.

Nomar Garciaparra, Matt Murton and cash considerations sent to the Cubs in a four-team trade in which the Sox acquired Orlando Cabrera from the Montreal Expos and Doug Mientkiewicz from the Minnesota Twins. Perhaps the trade Theo will be defined by, mere hours before the deadline, Nomar Garciaparra, arguably the face of the franchise for the past 7 years, is traded to the Chicago Cubs with prospect Matt Murton. With Sox Nation in shock over the trade, Epstein calls a press conference on NESN to discuss the motives for the trade. Mientkiewicz walks mere feet to the adjacent clubhouse in the Metrodome (where the Sox were playing the Twins at the time) to join his new teammates, and Cabrera joins the team the next day. O-Cab homers in his first game with the team, and becomes a fan favorite in a very short amount of time. Mientkiewicz holds a steady 1B, and even makes a spot start at 2nd base in September. The Sox go on a tear, even winning 10 games in a row at one point, and the rest, they say, is history.
Overall grade: A+. By far the gutsiest trade in team history. Theo trades the untradable in Nomar, and gets the team some much-needed defensive help by acquiring two Gold Glovers. Sure, top prospect Matt Murton has since shot his way through the Cubs organization, but who can argue that the Sox would've made it to the playoffs, nevermind actually win the World Series, without this trade? It's hard to argue with the results...

Henri Stanley sent to Los Angeles Dodgers for Dave Roberts. Anyone who has an iota of Sox knowledge knows that this move was a no-brainer. Sox give up a minimal prospect for Roberts, a fine defensive outfielder and a speedster on the basepaths. Although primarily used as a pinch-runner and late-inning defensive replacement, Roberts will never have to pay for another meal in Boston again thanks to his Game 4 steal of 2nd base in the bottom of the 9th, propelling the Sox to never look back while going on to win not only the ALCS, but the Series as well.
Overall grade: A+. In hindsight, the Sox gave up so little and got so much in return. Even on paper, a trade for a proven major leaguer in exchange for a borderline prospect was a steal. Of course, no one could've predicted how crucial Roberts would turn out to be in crunch time.
So there you have it. After 2004, Boy Wonder became Boy Genius. If there's one thing we've learned about Theo, it's that he will never shy away from making a controversial trade. No one is untradeable. The only detriment to his past success is the burden of trying to repeat it. Time will soon tell what kind of tricks Theo's got in his bag this year.