Everyone in Boston is talking about the Red Sox-Diamondbacks trade of infielder Shea Hillenbrand for pitcher Byun-Hyun Kim. There has been talk about the Sox trading Shea since the end of last year. Hillenbrand is 27, in his third year, was an All Star last year, and is under contract for only $407,000 per year. He’s not a power hitter, but he’s hitting .300 right now. But Sox GM Theo Epstein (who’s only a year older than Shea) puts a high value on patience at the plate and on base percentage, two things which Shea wasn’t the best at.
Plus, there’s no denying we need pitching. While the bullpen has improved a lot from the beginning of the season, Pedro Martinez is hurt and starter Derek Lowe doesn’t have the 20-game winner form he had last year. Kim will probably start while Martinez is out and he is expected to move to the closer role following.
There have been comparisons to the Jeff Bagwell trade (one of the dumbest moves in Sox history after selling Babe Ruth and letting Roger Clemens get away), but I don’t think that applies. Shea’s future is undetermined as is the potential of Kim. It will take time to see who gets the better deal.