SoxProspects.com: Reviewing past deals

To trade prospects or to not trade prospects? That is the question this time of year. You hear it on sports radio, you read opinions on blogs, you might even hear Theo Epstein chime in with his two cents on the subject. And with Saturday’s trade deadline approaching, it’s a hot-button issue that is sure to be beaten to death.

All the talk has got me thinking -- what prospects might the Red Sox be willing to part with at this year’s deadline? At first thought, probably not Casey Kelly, Ryan Kalish or any other top-rated prospect. But then again, I reasoned, the team has dealt top prospects such as Hanley Ramirez and Nick Hagadone in the recent past.

Then I decided to get my hands dirty to figure out exactly what prospects the Red Sox have dealt in recent years, which could be telling as to whom the team might be willing to trade now and in the future. So I dug through five years of transactions and extrapolated a list of 45 prospects that Boston has traded since July 30, 2005.

The conclusion? Don’t expect Epstein to deal any of the system’s top prospects unless an All-Star like Josh Beckett or Victor Martinez is coming to Boston in the deal. Simply put, the Sox front office is loathe to part with blue-chippers unless it is getting top-flight major league talent in return.

However, if history is an indicator, it would not be surprising to see the team deal a package of two or three B-level prospects to fill a hole on the big league club, as was the case when the Sox dealt David Murphy, Kason Gabbard, and Engel Beltre for Eric Gagne at the 2007 trade deadline. For reference, SoxProspects.com had Murphy, Gabbard, and Beltre ranked as the 10th, 13th and 25th rated prospects in the system at the time of the deal. The team’s biggest hole this season again appears to be the bullpen, and word is that Epstein is aggressively shopping for another late-inning reliever.

Otherwise, the most common scenario involved Boston trading a “lottery-ticket” type prospect -- one with a high ceiling but a negligible chance of reaching it -- for a secondary role player, such as when Boston acquired Mark Kotsay for Luis Sumoza in August 2008. Sumoza, then playing for the short-season Lowell Spinners, was ranked as the 36th-best prospect in the system. Seeing the Sox make that type of deal again would also not be surprising, even during the August waiver trade period.

Here’s the list of “prospects” that Boston has traded over the last five years, sorted chronologically by the date of the trade (along with 2010 stats through July 25). Note that this list does not include the full-fledged major leaguers that the team dealt during that time period or the minor leaguers that Boston sent to other teams in exchange for cash. Ultimately, the only player on the list that has gone on to stardom is Ramirez, but there are also a few major league regulars in Murphy, Justin Masterson and Anibal Sanchez, as well as a few prospects with promising futures in Hagadone, Bryan Price and Engel Beltre.

Prospects Traded in 2010

SS Angel Sanchez (traded to Houston for C Kevin Cash, July 2010)

2010 stats: .305/.349/.407, 0 home runs for Houston

Boston was forced to give up Sanchez for Cash given its dire catching situation after the injuries to Martinez, Jason Varitek, Dusty Brown and Mark Wagner. Sanchez has fared well in his short time with the Astros, but likely was not in Boston’s long-term plans regardless of this trade.

LHP Fabian Williamson (traded to Oakland for UT Eric Patterson, June 2010)

2010 stats: 2-0, 4.35 ERA, 19/13 K/BB in 20.2 IP for High-A Stockton (OAK)

A lefty starter with a mediocre fastball and advanced secondary stuff. Williamson doesn’t have a ton of upside, but he has shown flashes of dominance over his minor league career.

OF Jonathan Van Every (traded to Pittsburgh for C Josue Peley, May 2010)

2010 stats: .204/.321/.395, 8 home runs for Triple-A Indianapolis (PIT)

At 30, Van Every is a prototypical replacement-level player at the major league level -- the type of performer that an average team can expect to acquire at little to no cost in an injury situation.

Prospects Traded in 2009

RHP Chris Province (traded to Minnesota for RHP Boof Bonser, Dec. 2009)

2010 stats: 5-3, 5.28 ERA, 39/24 K/BB in 58 IP for Double-A New Britain (MIN)

Big righty bullpen arm shows knack for forcing ground-ball outs, but remains in Double-A at the age of 25.

LHP Hunter Jones (traded to Florida with LHP Jose Alvarez for OF Jeremy Hermida, Nov. 2009)

2010 stats: 0-5, 4.17 ERA, 31/22 K/BB in 45.1 IP for Triple-A New Orleans (FLA)

Released by Florida in June. Has an elbow injury that could require surgery. May re-sign with the Marlins for rehab.

LHP Jose Alvarez

2010 stats: 8-3, 3.08 ERA, 99/30 K/BB in 99.1 IP for Low-A Greensboro (FLA)

Smallish left-hander has had some success in the South Atlantic League in 2010. But he spent the entire 2008 season in that league before failing to impress at High-A in 2009, resulting in a demotion to short-season ball in 2009 and a return assignment to Low-A this season.

OF Chris Carter (traded to N.Y. Mets with 1B Eddie Lora for LHP Billy Wagner, Aug. 2009)

2010 stats: .263/.289/.400, 2 home runs for the Mets

The Wagner deal also ultimately netted the Red Sox two draft picks, which Boston used to select Kolbrin Vitek and Anthony Ranaudo. Not a bad haul for a player who couldn’t crack Boston’s 25-man roster in three seasons in Triple-A and a minor leaguer who was fresh off an 0-for-32 Rookie Ball campaign.

1B Eddie Lora

2010 stats: .103/.237/.276, 1 home run for Rookie-Level Kingsport (NYM)

Career .220 hitter at the Rookie Ball level.

2B Kris Negron (traded to Cincinnati for SS Alex Gonzalez, Aug. 2009)

2010 stats: .260/.358/.393, 8 home runs for Double-A Carolina (CIN)

Speedy infielder has 24 stolen bases, could prove to have some value as major league utility player, particularly in the National League.

RHP Justin Masterson (traded to Cleveland with RHP Bryan Price and LHP Nick Hagadone for C/1B Victor Martinez, July 2009)

2010 stats: 3-9, 5.19 ERA, 94/51 K/BB in 118 IP for Cleveland

OK, Masterson was probably a “full-fledged” major leaguer by the time he was traded, but he was not that far removed from being one of the top prospects in the Red Sox system. He is struggling with the Indians this season, but he still has a bright future on the mound, although his repertoire may be better suited for the bullpen.

LHP Nick Hagadone

2010 stats: 1-1, 5.19 ERA, 26/18 K/BB in 26 IP for Double-A Akron (CLE)

Despite putting up lackluster results since his promotion from High-A Kinston, this former first-round pick still projects to become a valuable set-up man out of the Cleveland bullpen in the near future.

RHP Bryan Price

2010 stats: 4-2, 3.55 ERA, 50/13 K/BB in 45.2 IP for Double-A Akron (CLE)

Converted to the bullpen at the start of this season, Price will likely pair up with Hagadone in the Indians’ relief corps at some point in 2011.

SS Argenis Diaz (traded to Pittsburgh with RHP Hunter Strickland for 1B Adam LaRoche, July 2009)

2010 stats: .255/.309/.294 for Triple-A Indianapolis (PIT)

Made his major league debut in April, but only spent two days on the Pirates’ big league roster.

RHP Hunter Strickland

2010 stats: 2-1, 4.50 ERA, 10/6 K/BB in 14 IP for High-A Bradenton (PIT)

Strickland was a popular teammate before he was traded to Pittsburgh in 2009. Threw the first six innings of a combined no-hitter in first start after the trade. He was shut down with elbow tightness in late June.

RHP David Pauley (traded to Baltimore for RHP Randor Bierd, Jan. 2009)

2010 stats: 0-2 3.18 ERA, 13/6 K/BB (SEA)

Pauley was out of options following the 2008 season and was unlikely to clear waivers or make Boston’s 25-man roster, so the Sox took a flyer on Bierd in a trade with Baltimore. Bierd pitched with Pawtucket in 2009 and 2010 but was released on Thursday. Meanwhile, Pauley pitched 5.2 innings of one-run ball against Boston on Saturday.

OF Mickey Hall (traded to Cleveland for RHP Paul Byrd, Jan. 2009)

Out of affiliated baseball

Former second-rounder hit .198 between Triple-A and Double-A for Cleveland in 2009. Could not catch on with another club in 2010.

Prospects Traded in 2008

RHP Beau Vaughan (traded to Texas for RHP Wes Littleton, Dec. 2008)

2010 stats: 1-0, 7.04 ERA, 7/6 K/BB in 7.2 IP for Triple-A Sacramento (OAK)

Released by Oakland earlier this month, should catch on with another system before season’s end.

OF Luis Sumoza (traded to Atlanta for 1B/OF Mark Kotsay, Aug. 2008)

2010 stats: .223/.272/.298, 2 home runs for High-A Myrtle Beach (ATL)

Sumoza has an excellent package of athleticism and power potential, but strikes out one of every four at-bats.

RHP Craig Hansen (traded to Pittsburgh with OF Brandon Moss in a three-way trade that sent OF Manny Ramirez to the L.A. Dodgers and netted OF Jason Bay, July 2008)

2010 stats: Disabled list (PIT)

Hansen hasn’t appeared in a game since April 2009, and his career is in jeopardy because of a nerve condition.

OF Brandon Moss

2010 stats: .261/.331/.467 with 16 home runs for Triple-A Indianapolis (PIT)

Moss cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A in April. Has not seen major league time in 2010.

SS Christian Lara (traded to L.A. Dodgers for RHP Eric Hull, April 2008)

2010 stats: .282/.362/.464, 10 home runs for Low-A Great Lakes (LAD)

Has moved down from High-A to Low-A since being traded in 2008. At 25 in Low-A, he’s what scouts consider minor league “roster filler.”

RHP Miguel Socolovich (traded to Chicago White Sox with RHP Willy Mota for RP David Aardsma, Jan. 2008)

2010 stats: 4-5, 3.44 ERA, 47/27 K/BB in 52.1 IP for Double-A Charlotte (CWS)

Just turned 24. Socolovich could have a career at the back end of a major league bullpen if he refines his control.

RHP Willy Mota

Out of affiliated baseball

Converted outfielder pitched in only four games for the White Sox organization in 2008, putting up an 8.53 ERA. Released in July 2008.

Prospects Traded in 2007

OF David Murphy (traded to Texas with LHP Kason Gabbard and OF Engel Beltre for RHP Eric Gagne, July 2007)

2010 stats: .257/.320/.376, 4 home runs for Texas

Former first-rounder has been a cost-effective league-average offensive player and a reliable third/fourth outfielder since joining the Rangers in 2007.

LHP Kason Gabbard

2010 stats: 0-2, 5.65 ERA, 10/15 K/BB in 14.1 IP for Triple-A Pawtucket (BOS)

Boston reacquired Gabbard from Texas in April 2009. The Sox tried him out in the bullpen at the Triple-A level, but he struggled with control and was released by Pawtucket last week.

OF Engel Beltre

2010 stats: .273/.333/.390, 1 home run for Double-A Frisco (TEX)

Still only 20 and already in Double-A, Beltre could be one of those lottery tickets that pans out. He would be among the top 10 prospects in the Red Sox system right now, a few steps ahead of second baseman Oscar Tejeda. Boston signed both Beltre and Tejeda as international free agents on July 2, 2006.

RHP Scott Shoemaker (traded to Texas for LHP Daniel Haigwood, April 2007)

Out of affiliated baseball

Failed to make any headway when challenged above Double-A over the course of three seasons. Put up a 6.04 ERA in 43 career Triple-A appearances.

C Alberto Castillo (traded to Baltimore for OF Cory Keylor, March 2007)

Out of affiliated baseball

Journeyman catcher has hopped between the independent leagues and the Mexican League since spending the 2007 season in the Baltimore system.

Prospects Traded in 2006

LHP Phil Seibel (traded to L.A. Angels for RHP Brendan Donnelly, Dec. 2006)

Out of affiliated baseball

Pitched eight innings with Triple-A Salt Lake in 2007, putting up an 11.25 ERA. Retired in 2007.

OF Adam Stern (traded to Baltimore for C Javy Lopez, October 2006)

2010 stats: .307/.377/.436, 3 home runs for Triple-A Nashville (MIL)

Now 30, this former Rule 5 pick has struggled to crack a major league roster since being traded in 2006.

RHP Tim Bausher (traded to Cincinnati for RHP Mike Burns, Aug. 2006)

Out of affiliated baseball

Former PawSox reliever couldn’t crack the majors in the Cincinnati or Kansas City organizations in 2006 and 2007. Released by the Royals in August 2007.

RHP Luis Mendoza (traded to Texas for RHP Bryan Corey, July 2006)

2010 stats: 5-7, 4.97 ERA, 37/17 K/BB in 79.2 IP for Triple-A Omaha (KC)

Has appeared in 36 major league games for Texas and Kansas City, putting up a career 8.43 ERA.

RHP Cla Meredith (traded to San Diego with C Josh Bard for C Doug Mirabelli, May 2006)

2010 stats: 1-0, 9.00 ERA, 10/7 K/BB in 14 IP for Triple-A Norfolk (BAL)

Righty reliever has 286 major league appearances under his belt and a 3.62 career ERA to his credit, but was outrighted to Triple-A in June after a subpar first half.

C Kelly Shoppach (traded to Cleveland with RHP Guillermo Mota, 3B Andy Marte and RHP Randy Newsom for OF Coco Crisp, RP David Riske and C Josh Bard, Jan. 2006)

2010 stats: .203/.341/.290, 1 home run (TB)

Spent four seasons in Cleveland backing up Victor Martinez, now shares the catching duties with John Jaso in Tampa Bay. Career .238 hitter.

3B Andy Marte

2010 stats: .193/.269/.337, 3 home runs (CLE)

Rated as the ninth-best prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America in 2005, he has had an underwhelming career with Cleveland.

RHP Randy Newsom

Out of affiliated baseball

Tufts graduate had some promising years as a reliever in the Cleveland system, but retired in June 2009 to pursue other opportunities on the business side of baseball.

Prospects Traded in 2005

SS Hanley Ramirez (traded to Florida with RHP Anibal Sanchez, RHP Jesus Delgado and RHP Harvey Garcia for RHP Josh Beckett, 3B Mike Lowell and Mota, Nov. 2005)

2010 stats: .293/.373/.459 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases for Florida

Perennial MVP candidate. You could say that he’s the one that got away, but without Beckett and Lowell the Sox don’t hang a championship banner in 2007. This was the ultimate win-win trade.

RHP Anibal Sanchez

2010 stats: 7-6, 3.59 ERA, 82 strikeouts in 19 starts for Florida

Still only 26, Sanchez has started 68 games for Florida over five seasons. Tossed a no-hitter in 2004. Serviceable back-of-the-rotation major league starter.

RHP Jesus Delgado

2010 stats: 0-0, 6.00 ERA, 3/3 K/BB in 6 IP for Double-A Carolina (CIN)

Righty reliever has bounced back-and-forth between Double-A and Triple-A since 2007, making two major league appearances in September 2008.

RHP Harvey Garcia

2010 stats: 1-1, 8.02 ERA, 25/16 K/BB in 21.1 IP for Double-A Chattanooga (LAD)

Bullpen arm with a mid-90s fastball. Pitched in eight games for the Marlins in 2007, striking

out 15 batters in 12.1 innings. Released by Florida prior to the 2009 season and picked up by Los Angeles. Released by the Dodgers organization this past May.

RHP Yader Peralta (traded to Washington with RHP Rhys Taylor for LHP Mike Stanton, September 2005)

Out of affiliated baseball

Spent 2006 and 2007 seasons in the lower levels of Washington system (career 4.01 ERA). Released prior to 2008 season.

RHP Rhys Taylor

Out of affiliated baseball

Australian righty pitched in three games with the Gulf Coast League Nationals in 2007. Released following the 2007 season.

RHP Olivo Astacio (traded to Chicago Cubs for LHP Mike Remlinger, Aug. 2005)

Out of affiliated baseball

Big Dominican reliever with a 96-m.p.h. fastball. Spent two mediocre seasons in the Pittsburgh organization. Released in May 2008, never signed on with another team.

IF Kenny Perez (traded to Arizona with RP Kyle Bono for OF Jose Cruz Jr., July 2005)

2010 stats: .228/.290/.281 with 1 home run for Double-A Frisco (COL)

Released in May, has yet to catch on with another club.

RHP Kyle Bono

Out of affiliated baseball

Former eighth-rounder only pitched in seven games in the Arizona organization. Retired in May 2006.

Mike Andrews is executive editor of SoxProspects.com and a special contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Chris Hatfield of SoxProspects.com contributed to this article.