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Boston Red Sox Continue The Clayton Mortensen Trade Odyssey

Hey, remember when Clayton Mortensen was one of the St. Louis Cardinals' top prospects? I didn't either, which was why the Boston Red Sox's salary-relief trade of Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies for the 26-year-old ground-ball specialist was even more surprising than the Red Sox trading for salary relief would usually be. Mortsensen, if you weren't paying attention, actually threw 58 innings for the Rockies last year, making six starts and picking up a 3.86 ERA. (He went to the Rockies in the first place a little more than a year ago, for the more conventional Ethan Hollingsworth.)

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He's not scrap, then, but he still suffers from all the issues he had when the Cardinals reached for him in the third round of the infamous Pete Kozma draft of 2007. His strikeout rate's too low—4.7 in 95 MLB innings—his walk rate's too high—3.7—and despite getting some of the ground balls that we've always expected of him, he's allowed 16 home runs already. (There's also the matter of his 9.42 ERA in 15 starts in the worst pitching environment in baseball, the Pacific Coast League's Colorado Springs squad.)

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The Red Sox are supposedly only using Mortensen as a means for making a bid on Roy Oswalt, but it was interesting to see one of three underperforming pieces of the Cardinals' outstanding Matt Holliday trade back in the news.

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