- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON -- At long last, Lars Anderson has a realistic chance of becoming a full-time major league player.
The Red Sox dealt the first baseman/outfielder to the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday afternoon in exchange for minor league knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright. Anderson will report to the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers, on Wednesday.
Wright is 9-6 with a with a 2.49 ERA in 20 starts for Double-A Akron this season. He has 101 strikeouts and 62 walks in 115 2 /3 innings. He has held opponents to a .207 batting average, which ranks first in the Eastern League, and has given up one run or fewer in 14 of his 20 starts. Wright, who was profiled HERE by ESPN New York's Adam Rubin, was assigned to Double-A Portland.
The Red Sox originally drafted Anderson out of high school and selected him in the 18th round of the 2006 first-year player draft. The California native was considered a top prospect in the organization and quickly developed and reached Double-A Portland in only his second year as a pro in 2008.
Anderson made his big league debut with the Red Sox in 2010 and played a total of 24 games for Boston before he was dealt on Tuesday. His fate in this organization was determined once the Red Sox signed slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez prior to the 2011 season.
The Red Sox attempted to trade Anderson to Oakland last season, but the deal fell through at the last minute. He thought there would be a good chance he would get traded this season, but was a little bit surprised not to hear anything once 4 p.m. came and went on Tuesday.
So he went to hit in the cage in Rochester, N.Y., where the PawSox were playing. When he returned, manager Arnie Beyeler handed Anderson the phone when Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett informed him of the trade.
“It seemed liked the most logical thing to happen, given the circumstances,” Anderson said. “I’m pretty thrilled and ready for a new scene. I’m thankful for the Red Sox for every opportunity I’ve gotten. I think it’s a pretty good time for me to go to a new place.”
Red Sox GM Ben Cherington was the vice president of player personnel for the Red Sox when Anderson was drafted.
“Bittersweet,” Cherington said of the deal. “We all like Lars and have known him for a long time. We go back to signing him out of high school and it was a big decision for him to sign as opposed to going to Cal. A big part of it for him was to come to a place where he was comfortable. Just sometimes you get to a point where a fresh start is probably good and there are guys ahead of him here, obviously, on the big league roster. We hope this is a good opportunity for him and wish him well, but good for us to get a guy who has an opportunity to start.”
Anderson had nothing but positive comments about his experience with the Red Sox organization.
“I don’t have anything I can compare it to, but for the most part it was pretty awesome," he said. "I got a chance to play in the big leagues, and arguably my favorite time was just climbing up and seeing each new level and all the new fields and new coaches. That’s something I’ll remember forever, and I’ve met some of my favorite people in the world over the last six years here.”
Anderson was hitting .259 with nine homers and 52 RBIs for the PawSox at the time of the trade.