Sep 8, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias (1) makes a throw to first after fielding a ground ball against the Kansas City Royals during the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Did we pull another Larry Andersen?


In late August of 1990, the Boston Red Sox pulled the trigger on one of the most infamous waiver deadline deals in Bean Town history; and I’m hoping they haven’t done it again.

On August 30th of 1990, the Sox sent one of their top prospects, a first/third baseman named Jeff Bagwell to the Houston Astros for relief pitcher Larry Andersen. Andersen pitched well for Boston, allowing just three runs in 22 innings of work, helping the Sox nab a playoff berth in the process. But Boston was knocked out by Oakland in the ALCS and Andersen, now a free agent, signed on with the San Diego Padres.

Jun 29, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies radio broadcaster Larry Andersen before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bagwell blossomed into a franchise player for the Houston Astros, winning not only the 1991 NL Rookie of the Year award, but was also named the 1994 NL MVP. Then-Boston General Manager, Lou Gorman, would defend the move, saying it made sense at the time, with Scott Cooper looking more and more like the third baseman of the future, and Mo Vaughn likely handling first for the years to come, there just wasn’t any room for Bagwell on the depth chart.

Fast forward nearly 23 years, to July 30th, just before the non-waiver trade deadline. Once again, Boston finds themselves in the hunt for a playoff spot, with a lack of reliable pitching and a wealth of quality prospects. BoSox brass decides to send defensive wizard, Jose Iglesias, to the Detroit Tigers in the three-team deal that brought Jake Peavy to Boston.

Iglesias has always been known for his glove, a skill that should have been able to carry his below average hit tool straight to the Major Leagues. But this year, something changed; Iglesias found his bat, the slick fielding Cuban has hit a combined .319 between Boston and Detroit. Blocked at third by Will Middlebrooks and with the combination of Xander Bogaerts, Garin Cecchini, and Deven Marrero advancing through the system quickly, Iglesias’ future in the organization was more uncertain than ever. Now given the chance to start full-time, in place of the suspended Jhonny Peralta, Iglesias has performed fantastically, even eliciting a vote of confidence from Tigers’ GM Dave Dombroski.

While, in the case of Andersen, hindsight is 20/20, the Iglesias deal looks like it can’t go wrong.

Peavy, in this case, is no mere one or two month rental, instead, Boston acquired a year and a half of a proven starting pitcher. Frankly, Iglesias has no track record of even being a passable hitter, as he failed to hit above .270 in every one of his minor league seasons, save 2010 at AA Portland.

Rather than the perennial MVP threat, and franchise cornerstone that they surrendered for two months of Andersen, the Sox seem to have given up less for more. Iglesias may constantly threaten for a Gold Glove, but he may never be more than that. Jake Peavy, however, could turn into a key piece in driving the Sox to a World Series berth or title.

So, here’s to hoping that we’ve learned from our mistakes, and not pulled the trigger on Jeff Bagwell redux.

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Jose Iglesias Larry Andersen

  • Eric Reining

    Did [the Red Sox] Pull Another Larry Anderson?

    No.

    Iglesias hasn’t found a bat, but, rather, a .373 batting average on balls in play. When the luck evens out, he’ll be back to his typical light-hitting self.

    Bagwell = Hall-of-Fame credentials
    Iglesias = not Xander Bogaerts

    • Michael Macaulay-Birks

      amen

    • Rick M.

      My prediction is Jose will be an All Star. His role will be to come in as a reliever for the AS starter, X-Man, year after year.

  • John Fahrer

    Had they traded for a reliever who would be hitting free agency after the season, then we’d have another Bagwell Dilemma. The Bagwell trade was a big reason why I’m always against trading for relievers. They don’t provide enough impactful innings in comparison to starters. The Peavy trade allowed the club to address the rotation and the bullpen as it allowed Brandon Workman to move there. Plus Peavy is back next season and possibly for 2015 unlike Anderson who was a free agent.

  • Rick M.

    Wade Boggs was also in the Sox picture back then. He was coming off (for him) a less than Boggs like offense year and there was some talk his days were numbered. Possible move to 1B if needed.

    Mo had not yet taken over at 1B and actually started the 1991 season at Pawtucket. Carlos Quintana held down 1B for 1991 and later in the season shared the duty with Mo. Mo didn’t arrive until late June.

    When the 1991-92 comparison of Bagwell-Vaughn took place it looked like that deal was really a wreck.

    Sox didn’t need to give up a top prospect. Andersen was in his late 30s and playing out the season. Gorman blew this one but Ben fif not blow the latest one.

  • John Fahrer

    Now the Brandon Jacobs for Matt Thornton could be a Bagwell dilemma, though it’s doubtful.