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BREAKING THE WINTER MALAISE

Red Sox fans are experiencing a certain amount of angstyastonishment this hot-stove season. First, the front office told us toprepare for “a major announcement.” It turned out to be Marco Scutaro.<p></p>

Red Sox fans are experiencing a certain amount of angsty astonishment this hot-stove season. First, the front office told us to prepare for “a major announcement.” It turned out to be Marco Scutaro.

Then WEEI said the Sox had made a “huge” deal, details to come. That turned out to be Boof Bonser. Not exactly stop-the-presses stuff. While both these deals make sense for the Sox — I’ve voiced my support for adding Scutaro to the roster before, and the Sox scooped up Bonser for a song — they are not our idea of “major” or “huge.”

While Boston traded players to be named for players with weird names, the Yankees nabbed Curtis Granderson. At last Boston slouched towards a move that might begin to approach “major” status, though it feels major in who they’re giving up rather than in who they’re getting: 2007 World Series MVP Mike Lowell for Rangers catching prospect Max Ramirez.

The Sox have been trying to get their mitts on one of Texas’ young catchers for years, exploring trades every winter — and always coming away empty-handed. But Ramirez is the bottom of Texas’s barrel. He had a great 2008 — with a slash line of .347/.439/.628 across three leagues — but took a step back in 2009, hitting .230/.318/.334 in two leagues. His defense at catcher isn’t great, either. He’ll be 25 next season. And the Sox would pick up most of Lowell’s salary.

If Ramirez were better behind the dish, I’d like this idea better. Instead, many scouts see Ramirez moving to a first base/DH role. But from Texas’s side, the veteran Lowell may not have all that much left in his bat. (Though his steady hand in their young clubhouse would certainly be appreciated.)

Still, it would sting for the Sox to pay so much of a Ranger’s salary. And with Texas signing the low-risk, high-reward Rich Harden — the pitching reclamation project I thought Theo would snag for sure — I’m starting to worry that Texas is going to put the hurt on Boston in 2010. But if this is a precursor to Boston signing Adrian Beltre, I’ll live. As the Mets’ fans say, “Try having Omar Minaya as your GM.” Always a bright side, Boston. Always a bright side.

– Sarah Green also writes for UmpBump.com. She can be reached at sarah@umpbump.com.

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