Found December 15, 2011 on Ted's Army:


Every morning, well most mornings and sometimes in the afternoon, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

The Red Sox have signed veteran utilityman Nick Punto to a two-year contract, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.

Heyman reported Punto, who turned 34 in November, is guaranteed $3 million with another $500,000 possible in incentives. The Red Sox had a vacancy for a utility player with this morning's trade of Jed Lowrie to the Astros.

Punto played 66 games for the champion Cardinals last year, hitting .278 with an .809 OPS in 166 plate appearances. He played 45 games at second base while also seeing time at shortstop and third base.

During his 11-year career, Punto has played for the Phillies (2001-03), Twins (2004-10) and Cardinals. A lifetime .249 hitter with a .652 OPS and 14 home runs in 887 career games. 

Globe:Sox sign Nick Punto

This signing makes the Melancon trade much more understandable. Seeing Jed Lowrie in this trade was a bit of a shock considering that the Red Sox balked at the thought of adding him in a bigger deal. Lowrie is a good bat, particularly against right-handed batters, but he just couldn't stay healthy. Punto isn't coming to replace Lowrie's bat, as he's a career .249 hitter, but he is a solid defender at second base, shortstop, and third base.

Lowrie still has a chance to put it all together in Houston and become a .300 hitter and maybe even have 20 home runs. I hope he does too. He was never going to get a legitmate shot at shortstop here in Boston as Scu-Scu-Scutaro was one of the few people that had a good September (.387 BA, 21 RBI) and Jose Iglesias has been poised to take it after Scutaro's contract runs out. This avoids the inevitable "Lowrie wants more playing time" article that would've come out in June, an issue the Sox don't need to deal with.

Punto will give the Sox the supersub they have been missing since they let Alex Cora go. He knows his role and is just fine waiting on the bench until his name gets called. Plus he's supposed to be a good clubhouse guy, and lord knows we need a few of those right about now.

So Lowrie gets his chance to play, the Sox replace him with the utility player they sorely needed. Everybody wins.

Rest of the links: Globe:Sox acquire Melancon from Astros for Lowrie, Weiland|Sox sign Nick Punto|Herald:Sox find relief in Melancon|Red Sox deal signals change|Punto fields a contract|CSNNE:Swing and a miss|Sox sign Punto to replace Lowrie|Varitek, Wakefield to Cubs?|WEEI:Mills on Melancon: has the stuff to close in AL East|Sox sign Punto to two year, $3 million deal


Luhnow fills a hole at shortstop with Jed Lowrie

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Red Sox sign P Melancon, INF Punto to bolster team

The Boston Red Sox have attempted to bolster their bullpen and bench, trading for pitcher Mark Melancon and signing infielder Nick Punto. And if they add some guys who can pull together their fractured clubhouse, that's OK, too. The Red Sox traded for Melancon, the former Astros reliever, and signed former St. Louis Cardinals infielder Punto as a free agent. General manager...

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Red Sox Sign Nick Punto

The Boston Red Sox have signed infielder Nick Punto to a two-year $3.5 million contract.  Punto will be used as a utility infielder to give Youk, Scutaro and Pedroia a day off now and then.  With Lowrie headed to Houston, the Sox needed a new utility guy.

Marco Scutaro Makes Lowrie Expendable

For a time, Jed Lowrie was one of the ultimate Red Sox prospects, potentially the perfect shortstop of the future. On Wednesday, that fine dream ended as the Boston Red Sox dealt Lowrie to the Houston Astros along with Kyle Weiland in exchange for Mark Melancon. There are plenty of factors which went into this trade, as already covered — Lowrie has struggled with injuries and defense...

Lowrie Traded to Astros for Mark Melancon

Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland are headed to Houston for pitcher Mark Melancon.   The move gives the Red Sox several options to choose from for a closer.  Melancon saved twenty games for the Astros last year so he will be in the mix with Jenks and Bard to fill the hole left by Papelbon's departure. The move also signals that the Red Sox are confident that Iglesias will be the...

Astros obtain Lowrie and Weiland

BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox have acquired closer Mark Melancon from the Houston Astros for infielder Jed Lowrie and right-hander Kyle Weiland. The deal on Wednesday brings the Red Sox a potential replacement for closer Jonathan Papelbon, who signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies. Melancon is a 26-year-old righty who had 20 saves last season with an 8-4 record...

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Save opportunities were rarer than diamonds this year for the 106-loss Houston Astros. But when Mark Melancon got...

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The Boston Red Sox have traded infielder Jed Lowrie and pitcher Kyle Weiland to the Houston Astros for relief pitcher Mark Melancon, a baseball source confirmed to

Red Sox trade Lowrie and Weiland to the Astros for Melancon

The Boston Red Sox have traded right handed pitcher Kyle Weiland and short stop Jed Lowrie to the Houston Astros for Mark Melancon according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports. Weiland went 0-3 with a 7.66 ERA in 24.2 innings and Lowrie hit .252/.303/.382 with 6 HR's and 36 RBI's with the Red Sox in 2011. Melancon went 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in 17.1 innings with the Astros in 2011...

Red Sox acquire former Yankees pitcher for bullpen

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox reinforced their bullpen Wednesday, acquiring right-hander Mark Melancon from the Houston Astros in exchange for infielder Jed Lowrie and right-hander Kyle Weiland, according to a major-league source. The addition of Melancon likely will be one of multiple additions the Red Sox make to their bullpen...
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