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January 12, 2012 at 11:46 PM

First Take: Eek-Emaus

The Move: Rockies trade 2B/3B Brad Emaus to Red Sox for player to be named later or cash considerations

After announcing a slew of signings to bolster their pitching depth, the Red Sox added Emaus to augment their infield depth. It made sense for the Sox to add one more legitimate “taxi squad” infielder in Pawtucket. Although this makes for a “one too many” situation in the infield for the PawSox, one need look no further than the team’s 2011 outfield situation to see how quickly depth can turn into a glaring hole. Entering the season with four legitimate starting Triple-A outfielders, the club lost JC Linares and Ryan Kalish to injury early on and saw Josh Reddick promoted to Boston for most of the season, leading to Ronald Bermudez, who probably belonged in High-A, becoming the club’s starting right fielder. 

As for Emaus himself, as easy as it can be to dismiss his .313/.389/.564 line from last year as a product of playing in a great hitters park in a hitters league, according to the MLSplits MLE calculator, his numbers would have translated to a .302/.378/.531 line in Pawtucket. He can hit, and although Emaus faltered in a short major league audition with the Mets last April as a Rule 5 draft pick, going just 6 for 37, Emaus still has all three options and is a legitimate depth option for the Sox this season should the need arise.

Colorado's return will likely be a C-level prospect chosen from a list of players the Rockies' scouts will watch during spring training. A good comparison can be found as recently as last season, when Pedro Perez was sent to Detroit at the end of Spring Training to complete a prior trade for Brent Dlugach. The Rockies' return would be a similar player.

Players affected
Pedro Ciriaco, Nate Spears, Tony Thomas – Since Will Middlebrooks and Jose Iglesias will get their at-bats, there are at most three rosters spots available for Ciriaco, Spears, Thomas and Emaus if everyone in the Pawtucket and Boston infield enters the season healthy. In such an unlikely situation, one player could start the year in Portland or on the phantom DL. Given Spears’ versatility and Ciriaco’s ability to play shortstop, Thomas, who only plays second base, would likely be the odd man out in such a situation.