The Boston Red Sox think they have the pitcher they need for the pennant race. Better yet, they barely had to dent their roster to get him.
The Red Sox completed a seven-player trade with Colorado on Thursday, receiving pitcher Rolando Arrojo and infielder Mike Lansing for second baseman Jeff Frye and demoted pitchers Brian Rose and John Wasdin.
Boston also acquired pitcher Rick Croushore and an undisclosed amount of cash. The Rockies also got minor league pitcher Jeff Taglienti.
"We thought we could add to our ballclub for this season and not really affect our major league ballclub," Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette said on a conference call before Boston's game against Oakland.
The deal was announced after the Rockies lost to Los Angeles 16-11, their 18th defeat in 22 games. Colorado trails New York by seven games in the NL wild-card race.
"It is an opportunity for us to continue with our plan. ... We aren't done yet. We are not raising the white flag," Rockies general manger Dan O'Dowd said. "A lot has to do with the players we get back."
Boston is in the middle of the chase for the AL East title and the wild-card slot.
"That's what everybody plays for, a chance to win the championship," said Lansing who is batting .258 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs.
Pitching has been a prime commodity as Monday's trading deadline approaches, with Curt Schilling, Andy Ashby and Denny Neagle all recently acquired by contenders. Duquette had said the Red Sox were looking for a hitter, but the team just lost Pete Schourek, perhaps for the season.
"We had some gaping holes now that Schourek has gone down," Red Sox reliever Rod Beck said. "Arrojo will help fill those innings."
Arrojo, 32, has had trouble adjusting to Coors Field since he was traded from Tampa Bay to the Rockies last December, going 5-9 with a 6.04 ERA in 19 starts this year.
"It's hard to evaluate pitchers in Colorado," Duquette said, adding that Arrojo has a 4.90 ERA on the road this season. "It's not unusual for pitchers to have trouble in Colorado."
Rose, Wasdin and Frye are expected to jon the Rockies in Milwaukee this weekend. Taglienti will report to Double-A Carolina.
Arrojo is expected to start on Sunday. He and Lansing are expected to be with the team in time for Friday night's game at Oakland.
"He's a very good player, very aggressive. He's a steady defensive player. He's a streaky batter and if he gets going, can carry you," Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez said of Lansing, a former teammate in Montreal.
About Arrojo, Martinez said: "I saw him at the All-Star game in 1998. He's Cuban, so that mains he speaks Spanish, so that's good. And he seems like a good pitcher."
To get Arrojo and Lansing, the Red Sox barely had to dent their major league roster; only Frye was with the Boston club. He was hitting .289 with one homer and 13 RBIs but had also drawn management's ire with his criticism, later recanted, over the way Mike Stanley was released.
"I have no regrets about what I said. Sometimes you just have to stand up and speak out. Everybody on this team appreciated what I said about Mike Stanley," Frye said. "I probably burned some bridges, but life goes on. This is a business."
Rose, 24, had been one of Boston's most promising prospects. But after opening the season on the Red Sox roster he went 3-5 with a 6.11 ERA and was sent back to Triple-A Pawtucket; there, he went 4-1 with a 3.19 ERA.
Wasdin, 27, was best known as the pitcher Boston acquired from Oakland in exchange for Jose Canseco. He was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in five games at Pawtucket and 1-3 with a 5.04 ERA in 25 games with Boston.
"This is an opportunity for them to pitch for another organization. They're both young and they have good arms and they should have good major league careers," Duquette said. "We thought we could add to our ballclub for this season and not really affect our major league ballclub."
Croushore, 30 next month, has also been demoted after spending time in the majors this season. Although he has struggled this season, he did have more success last year in St. Louis, when he had a 4.14 ERA out of the bullpen.
"We really like Croushore's arm," Duquette said. "Although he was in the minors, we think that he'll do much better in Boston than he did in Colorado. We hope that he returns to the form he showed in St. Louis."
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