Friday, August 01, 2008

Brandon Moss Anticipating Pirates Opportunity

Prospect Brandon Moss -- hitting .282 for Triple A Pawtucket with eight home runs in 163 at-bats -- is looking forward to playing with the Pirates after being traded as part of the blockbuster, six-player Manny Ramirez-Jason Bay deal.

"It's great news,'' Moss, 24, told The Providence Journal after learning he would go to Pittsburgh. "Obviously, I love this (Red Sox) organization. It's the only one I've known. I've basically grown up in it. I've been here for six years, since I was 18 years old. But at the same time I see how it is up there. Maybe it's an opportunity to get a little more time than I would have here. I think it all worked out.''

The Red Sox -- in the past known for suppressing opportunities for younger players -- has been advancing its prospects since Theo Epstein took over as general manager. But as an established team, opportunities for newcomers are generally fewer than with the constantly rebuilding Pirates.

Moss projects as a valuable prospect not only because of defensive skills but his pedigree at lower minor league levels, having hit .339 and .422 with 15 homers in two Single A stops four years ago for a batting title.

In addition to Moss, the deal included Manny Ramirez being dealt to the Dodgers, Jason Bay to Boston and Andy LaRoche to the Pirates.

Moss was practicing at McCoy Stadium in Providence when manager Ron Johnson told him he had been traded just as the trading deadline.

"I had no clue," Moss told The Journal. "I honestly didn't think I was going to be traded. It was weird. It was five o'clock...I knew something was up once he was calling me in.''.

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