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Van Buren to Boston
by Derek Smart
According to a report in the Corporate Stooge Gazette, the Cubs have just completed a deal that sends Jermaine Van Buren to the Red Sox in exchange for the infamous PTBNL.
Like the deal the sent Jon Leicester packing, this is pretty clearly a move to free up roster space, thus ending the mystery of how the team would get from 41 to 40. Of course, we're still left with the question of who goes when the Mabry deal's official, and who else goes if the team signs Furcal, but I suppose that's for another day.
Based on their free and easy distribution of cash to any veteran relievers who happened to be wandering by, it's easy to see that Van Buren simply wasn't in the team's plans, and since he had reached a point in his development where he either needed to be used at the Major League level or dealt, the club decided on the latter approach rather than let him spend another year in Iowa.
It's hard to know how to rate the trade without knowing who the other player is, but with the approach the club is taking to the bullpen this year, it's at least defensible (whether the approach itself is defensible is a better question, but I'll back off for the moment). If I had to make a guess, though, I'd say that the player coming back is likely someone who's Boston's non-roster version of Van Buren V2004.