ESPN, the Boston Red Sox looking to free up money to pursue either starting pitcher Roy Oswalt or outfielder Cody Ross, have traded shortstop Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies.
The Red Sox received right-handed pitcher Clayton Mortensen in return. Mortensen, 26, is a former first-round sandwich pick in 2007 by St. Louis, who sent Mortensen to Oakland in the deal for outfielder Matt Holliday. The Rockies acquired Mortensen for a minor league player last January; the Red Sox become his fourth big league organization.
Last season, he was 2-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 16 games, six of them starts.
Scutaro was projected as Boston's starting shortstop but will play second base and bat second in Colorado, where the Rockies also have added Michael Cuddyer and Ramon Hernandez in an offseason makeover following last year's disappointing slide.
The Rockies were looking into trading for Mets 2B Justin Turner as an alternative plan before landing Scutaro.
The Red Sox intend to use Mike Aviles and newly acquired Nick Punto to play shortstop in Scutaro's place, at least until top prospect Jose Iglesias proves ready for a major league promotion.
Scutaro hit .299 in 113 games last season for the Red Sox, reclaiming the starting job at short he lost to Lowrie in the season's first month.