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Transactions: Breslow, Albers, Podsednik, Anderson

2012 July 31

There weren’t any fireworks for the Red Sox at this year’s trade deadline, but at first blush, they appear to have gotten better.

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The Red Sox sent reliever Matt Albers and outfielder Scott Podsednik to the Arizona Diamondbacks for reliever Craig Breslow.

Breslow, a 31-year-old lefty, and a member of the 2007 World Series Championship club (though he didn’t pitch an inning), will likely facilitate a move back to the rotation for Franklin Morales. Manager Bobby Valentine is known to prefer having two left-handed relievers in the pen. If the Red Sox had planned to keep Morales out of the rotation for a prolonged period of time, they wouldn’t have acquired another southpaw.

Even roster movements aside, Breslow is a solid piece that will help strengthen the bridge from across the game’s middle innings, between the starters and setup men/closer.

In 40 appearances this season for the Diamondbacks, Breslow has a 2.70 ERA and a 3.61 FIP.

They Red Sox won’t miss Matt Albers, 29, despite a 2.29 ERA. His strikeout rate has fallen off the table. From an unusually high 23.5% in 2011 down to 15.9%, he’s dropped well below the 21-22% league average among relievers. As a result, he counted quite heavily on batters hitting into outs (not the most reliable of traits).

Heading to Arizona with Albers is Podsednik, 36. In 19 games from mid-May to mid-June, he batted .387 with a .409 on-base percentage in 70 plate appearances. It was a great run, but not the type that the Sox could expect to happen again.

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In an even quieter move, the team sent first baseman Lars Anderson, 24, to the Cleveland Indians for the Steven Wright, a 27-year-old right-handed pitcher.

A one-time top prospects for the Sox, Anderson has struggled to match and build upon his best season in the organization, now four years past. In 2008, he hit .317 with a .417 on-base percentage and 18 home runs split between High-A Lancaster and Double-A Pawtucket. In six seasons in the minors, he’s hit .274/.370/.435. With Adrian Gonzalez holding down first base in the majors for the foreseeable future, Anderson is probably better serviced in another organization.

Wright appears to be little more than organization fodder, though being a knuckleballer, he’ll likely draw some attention among the fan base. Given he’s spent the year to date with Cleveland’s Double-A team (where, to be fair, he is having a nice season – 2.49 ERA, 7.9 SO/9, but 4.8 BB/9), he’s got a long way to go before being considered a candidate for a spot in the majors.

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The Red Sox got a little better today and not to be overlooked, cleared two 40-man roster spots in the process. The roster spots will come into play as Andrew Bailey, Chris Carpenter and Rich Hill return from the 60-day disabled list. While Breslow makes his way to Boston, Clayton Mortensen is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket for tonight’s game.

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