When Tuesday’s nonwaiver trading deadline came and went, and the only move involving a prospect was dealing Pawtucket first baseman Lars Anderson to Cleveland for righthander Steven Wright, it showed the Red Sox were serious about protecting their farm system, such as shortstop Xander Bogaerts, outfielder Jackie Bradley, and pitchers Matt Barnes and Anthony Ranaudo.
“From a player development perspective, certainly you build relationships with guys and certainly you see what their future could hold in front of them,’’ said Ben Crockett, the Red Sox director of player development. “But from an organizational standpoint, you need to make the moves you think will help the major league team and the organization the best in the short term and the long term.
“So those are tough decisions that the general manager and the front office has to make. In the past, certainly, we’ve done those in the past when they’ve made sense. But when the right opportunity doesn’t present itself, sometimes it’s better to hold on to your assets.’’
The Sox have parted ways with top prospects before, such as sending outfielder Reymond Fuentes, righthander Casey Kelly, and first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the Padres for Adrian Gonzalez.
Such moves are only possible because a team has promising prospects to offer. But it can be difficult to part ways with such prospects after a team has invested so much in their development.
“I think, from a personal standpoint, you get attached to guys like that,’’ Crockett said. “But at the same time you need to go into things wanting to identify certain players who hold the most value for you. You go into it open-minded. But, in general, every organization is somewhat biased to hold onto their own prospects because you know them better and you have a good sense of what they could be, but that’s always a big challenge.’’
On the up and up
When Anderson was dealt, it created a ripple effect Wednesday that resulted in first basemen Reynaldo Rodriguez and Travis Shaw earning promotions.
“Both guys put together pretty solid seasons,’’ Crockett said. “Their performances had earned the opportunity to move on when something opened up.’’
Rodriguez, 26, was sent to Pawtucket from Double A Portland, where he hit .257 in 90 games and ranked second on the team with 16 home runs. He was joined in Pawtucket by Salem catcher/third baseman Carson Blair, 22, who jumped a level to give the PawSox protection after Ryan Lavarnway was called up to Boston.
“Reynaldo showed he could compete, had solid at-bats in Portland,’’ Crockett said. “Being back there for parts of a second year, we felt like he was in a good position to take his experience up to Pawtucket and provide a little bit of that righthanded power and try to help replace Lars a little bit, which is obviously a tough loss for us.”
Shaw, 22, a ninth-round pick in 2011, went to Portland, where he joined former Salem teammate Bradley. Shaw, a 2012 Carolina League All-Star, hit .305 in 99 games with the Salem Red Sox, and had 16 homers, 73 RBIs, and a .957 OPS.
“Travis is having one of the better seasons of anybody in our system in terms of controlling the strike zone,’’ Crockett said. “He’s hit for some power having a real disciplined approach and has shown he really knows what he’s doing up there [at the plate]. So challenging him I think in Portland was something we were really looking forward to doing.’’
Zach Stewart, who was acquired in the trade that sent Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox, was impressive for Pawtucket in a 4-2 victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Tuesday, allowing one run on four hits while striking out eight in five innings. “It was probably his best strikeout performance of the year,’’ Crockett said. “He’s done a nice job attacking the strike zone. He’s got multiple pitches he can throw to keep hitters off balance.’’ . . . Pawtucket outfielder Alex Hassan, who was hitting .268 and leading the PawSox with a .389 on-base percentage, was placed on the disabled list Wednesday after he fouled a ball off his shin and suffered a laceration that required stitches. “Because of the stitches, he had to be pulled out of activity for a little while. It’s just short term, so he should be back pretty soon,’’ Crockett said . . . Also Wednesday, Single A Greenville catcher Blake Swihart, the team’s first-round pick in 2011, was placed on the DL after he developed cramping and tightening in his hip. “It’s more position-based than anything else,’’ Crockett said. “He’ll probably be out 3-4 days and we’ll play it conservatively and not try to rush it back.’’ . . . Crockett reported that Ranaudo, a first-round selection in 2010 who earned a promotion to Portland this season, was progressing slowly after going on the DL July 5 with shoulder fatigue. “We’re still trying to make progress with his strengthening and trying to get him to feel right,” said Crockett. “At this point, there’s no official timetable.’’