According to a baseball source, the Sox had been engaging with the Brewers in on-and-off discussions involving Hardy since the trading deadline, roughly two weeks before Milwaukee sent the struggling shortstop to the minor leagues. Talks continued up until recently, when the Brewers agreed to send Hardy to the Twins for outfielder Carlos Gomez.
According to the same source, Milwaukee wanted either starter Clay Buchholz or reliever Daniel Bard for Hardy. The Sox were not willing to offer either pitcher. Milwaukee was not interested in righthander Michael Bowden, whom the Sox would have been willing to part with, and the Sox did not have a center field prospect who could match Gomez’s skill set.
I like to think that Massarotti was taking a dig at Melvin there when he said the Red Sox don't have anyone with Gomez's "skill set." Gomez's skill set is ideal for track and field, atrocious for Major League Baseball.
Melvin shoots for Bucholz or Daniel Bard. OK, that is asking a bit much for just JJ Hardy. Red Sox counter with excellent 22 year old prospect Micheal Bowden. He's been hit pretty hard in the majors in two brief stints (in the AL, in the East mind you) but has absolutely burned up the minors. 1.156 WHIP, 8.1 K/9 and a 3.1 K/BB ratio in 5 minor league seasons. The kid is good.
From Baseball Prospectus:
For the first six weeks of last season, Michael Bowden was the one pitcher known to man who could actually succeed in the pinball-machine atmosphere of Lancaster. From there, he went to Double-A, where he wasn't nearly as good. The mitigating factor is that Bowden was among the youngest starters in the Eastern League. There is still some work to be done, particularly on his changeup and his anything-but-ideal mechanics, but he's a future rotation piece.A future rotation piece...in Boston. My God, he could be an ace in the NL Central.
Going into 2009, Micheal Bowden was number 9 overall in Jon Sickels' yearly pitching prospects. He had a bit of a rough year.
9) Michael Bowden, RHP, Boston Red SoxSo, his stock dropped slightly. Lets say that means 20 spots. He is still a top 30 pitching prospect in the minor leagues. Top 50 conservatively. Overall.
4-6, 3.13 with an 88/47 K/BB in 126 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket, 106 hits. Got knocked around in brief major league trial. Component ratios slipped this year and his stock has dropped slightly.
To me that puts him at least at the back end of the Brewers rotation this year, and at the very very least he is a bullpen arm working his way into a starters job in the future. He is 22 years old!
How do you pass up on Michael Bowden for Carlos Gomez? You have got to be absolutely kidding me. The best Brewers fans could have hoped for with Michael Bowden is a solidified rotation spot. The best we can hope for with Gomez is that the Brewers find his replacement quickly.