Red Sox acquire infielder Patterson

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Red Sox, responding quickly to the loss of second baseman Dustin Pedroia to a fractured bone in his left foot, acquired light-hitting Eric Patterson from the Oakland Athletics for a minor league pitcher, Fabian Williamson.

Patterson, a Georgia Tech product whose brother Corey plays for the Orioles and whose father, Don, played in the NFL, can play both the outfield and second base, much like current Red Sox reserve Bill Hall.

Originally drafted by the Cubs in 2004, Patterson was the team's Minor League Player of the Year in 2005 and made his big league debut two years later. The Cubs shipped him to Oakland the following July as part of the Rich Harden deal. Patterson hit .287 in 39 games for the Athletics last season, but was batting .204 in 45 games this season. He made just 25 starts for Oakland this season, 24 in the outfield, one at second base.

Patterson's best asset is his speed. He hopes his versatility wins him a job in the big leagues. He has mentioned multi-positional Chone Figgins as a player he models himself after.

Williamson had come to the Red Sox before the 2009 season in the David Aardsma deal. He was 4-3 with a 3.72 ERA at Class A Salem.

Gordon Edes is ESPNBoston.com's Red Sox reporter. He has covered the Red Sox for 12 years and has reported on baseball for 25 years. Ask a question for his next mailbag here.