The Red Sox added a piece to their bullpen by acquiring Mark Melancon from the Houston Astros for Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland. Melancon was the closer for the latter part of the season for the Astros and will likely be given the same opportunity in 2012. Melancon came up through the Yankees system and was traded to Houston in the Lance Berkman trade. Last year, he was 8-4 with a 2.78 ERA and 20 saves. To get him, they gave up Lowrie who always showed potential but could never stay healthy and Weiland, who could become the pitcher Melancon is now.
The Red Sox also signed utility infielder Nick Punto as a free agent. Punto is a good glove man with a good eye at the plate. He will take over Lowrie's role.
RULE 5 RESULTS
Boston lost Cesar Cabral to the Royals, who turned around and traded him to the Yankees. They selected Marwin Gonzalez and promptly traded him for former Mexican Leaguer Marco Duarte. Basically a non-story. Boston also picked up minor league catcher Gerardo Olivares from the Rays.