January 29, 2006 at 12:57 AM
After weeks of speculation, the Red Sox traded top-tier prospect Andy Marte, along with catcher Kelly Shoppach, relief pitcher Guillermo Mota, and cash considerations for Indians centerfielder Coco Crisp, relief pitcher David Riske, and catcher Josh Bard on Friday. The trade essentially plugs the gap left by the departure of centerfielder Johnny Damon, who signed with the Yankees last month. The switch-hitting Crisp batted .300, while clubbing 16 home runs and driving in 69 runners for the Tribe in 2005. While the Sox got their man in Crisp, they gave up a top-ranked third base prospect in Marte, a projected 40 homer, 100+ RBI major league player, not to mention a valuable replacement for the recently-departed Bill Mueller. In Shoppach, the Sox give the Indians, at very least, a quality backup to incumbent Victor Martinez, while the departure of Mota opens up an additional spot in the Sox bullpen come Spring Training.