Friday, December 7, 2012

Did Red Sox Blunder Into Unprotected "Fields"?

A Good One That Got Away?
The Houston Astros (they of the American League West) used the first overall pick in the Rule 5 draft to scoop up highly-touted young pitcher Josh Fields from the Red Sox. You might wonder, how the heck did that happen? By way of background, Fields (age 27) was one of the pieces in the 2011 three-team trade that also brought Erik Bedard to the Red Sox. Fields had a good year in 2012 at AA and AAA, posting a 2.01 ERA and 12 saves. He also struck out 78 and walked only 18 in 58 1-3 innings. He was generally regarded as the best player in the Rule 5 draft, which is why Houston snapped him up immediately. ESPN's Buster Olney recounts that other teams were "surprised" that Boston left such a talented pitcher unprotected. It begs the question, who on the 40-man roster did BenCher think was better?