Striking late and dramatically, the Boston Red Sox bolstered their lineup by acquiring All-Star catcher Victor Martinez from Cleveland less than two hours before Friday's non-waivers trade deadline, CBSSports.com has learned.
The Indians will receive three young pitchers in exchange: Right-handers Juston Masterson and Bryan Price and left-hander Nick Hagadone.
The blockbuster deal comes following several days during which the Red Sox were hot on the trail of Martinez, San Diego slugger Adrian Gonzalez and Toronto ace Roy Halladay. Martinez, a three-time All-Star, was batting .284 with 15 homers and 67 RBI in 99 games for the Indians this season and arrives in Boston with the Red Sox having fallen into second place in the AL East, two games behind the New York Yankees.
The addition of Martinez is a huge boon for the Red Sox, who are concerned with the health of catcher Jason Varitek, 37, and who have watched slugger David Ortiz regress some this season. Martinez can catch, play first base and, of course, serve as designated hitter.
Masterson was 3-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 31 appearances with the Red Sox this season. Over the past two seasons, he has worked for manager Terry Francona both out of the bullpen and as a spot starter. Hagadone is a big, 6-5 lefty who was Boston's first-round sandwich pick (55th overall) in the 2007 draft. Price. 22, was a first-round sandwich pick (45th overall) in last year's draft.
The trio fits what Cleveland now is looking to accomplish, re-stocking its system with as many young arms as possible, after trading two Cy Young winners in the past two seasons -- Cliff Lee this week and CC Sabathia last July.