Red Sox Trade Marco Scutaro to Rockies for Pitcher Clayton Mortensen

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January 21, 2012

Red Sox Trade Marco Scutaro to Rockies for Pitcher Clayton MortensenThere have been reports that the Red Sox would need to free up some money in order to pursue more pitching help. They have taken the first step toward doing so.

The Red Sox have traded shortstop Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies, the team announced Saturday. Pitcher Clayton Mortensen will be sent to Boston in the deal.

Reports surfaced on Friday that the Sox and Rockies were working on a deal, but talks were thought to have fizzled. Troy Renck of The Denver Post reported on Saturday, however, that the discussions were revived, which ultimately led to the deal.

Scutaro, primarily a shortstop during his time in Boston, will likely move to second base in Colorado with All-Star Troy Tulowitzki already in the fold at short. The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo reports that the Red Sox will platoon Mike Aviles and Nick Punto at shortstop in the wake of the deal.

The trade relieves Boston of Scutaro's $6 million salary, which the team had agreed to pay him upon picking up his option earlier this offseason. The Sox may elect to use that money to acquire a starting pitcher.

Scutaro hit a career-high .299 in 113 games last season. That mark was the second-highest among American League shortstops with at least 400 plate appearances. The 36-year-old arrived in Boston as a free agent before the 2010 season after parts of eight seasons with the Mets, Athletics and Blue Jays.

Mortensen, the pitcher the Red Sox are believed to be acquiring in the deal, was a supplemental first-round pick (36th overall) of the Cardinals in 2007. The right-hander has a 4-8 record and a 5.12 ERA in 24 big league games (13 starts) with the Rockies, A's and Cardinals.

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