Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has confirmed the team has traded shortstop Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies for right-hander Clayton Mortensen.
Mortensen, who will turn 27 on April 10, was a first-round (supplemental, 36th overall) pick of the Cardinals in 2007, out of Gonzaga University. Mortensen appeared in 16 games, with six starts, for the Rockies in 2011, posting a record of 2-4 with a 3.86 ERA. In 58 13 innings, he allowed 55 hits and 24 walks, for a 1.354 WHIP, with nine home runs, and a 1.25 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, and an opponents average of .257. He also appeared in 15 games, all starts, for Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he was 2-8 with a 9.42 ERA. In 64 innings, he gave up 104 hits and 29 walks for a 2.078 WHIP, with a 1.86 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, and .370 opponents batting average.
The Sox will be Mortensens fourth organization. He was traded by St. Louis to Oakland in June 2009 as part of the deal that sent Matt Holliday to the Cardinals. The As traded him to Colorado in June 2011.
In parts of three major league seasons, he has appeared in 24 games (13 starts), spanning 95 innings with the Cardinals, As, and Rockies, Mortensen compiled a record of 4-8 (5.12), with a 1.354 WHIP, 1.25 KBB, and .281 opponents average.
In two seasons with the Sox, Scutaro hit .284 with 18 home runs, 110 RBI, and a .744 OPS in 263 games. In October, the Sox picked up their 6 million option.
The trade of Scutaro leaves the Sox with some questions at shortstop. Currently, the Sox have Mike Aviles, Nick Punto, and Jose Iglesias on the 40-man roster as possible replacements. Iglesias, who turned 22 on Jan. 5, is a defensive gem, but will likely start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he hit just .235 with a .554 OPS.
The trade of Scutaro and his 6 million salary for 2011 frees up some money the Sox could potentially use to pursue a starting pitcher or an outfielder.