NARVESON RESCUED FROM COLORADO

The Boston Red Sox finally traded beleaguered pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim. Kim is headed to thin altitude as the Colorado Rockies are going to take a flyer on Kim. ESPN.com has the report with a couple of interesting notes. First, the particulars.
To Colorado: RP Byung-Hyun Kim
To Boston: C Charles Johnson, SP Chris Narveson, cash considerations.
Apparently, the Red Sox are getting enough money to equalize the money in each trade. Kim is being paid $6 million this year, while Johnson is being paid $9 million. The Red Sox immediately released Charles Johnson, and whoever signs Johnson will pay them a salary that allows the Red Sox off the hook for that salary, so the Red Sox could actually benefit from the trade money-wise. As people at Sons of Sam Horn speculate, this could be a way for the Red Sox to decrease their luxury tax hit as well.
There are two prevailing theories. The first is that because Charles Johnson was never placed on the 40-man roster, his salary is not counted towards the total salary the Red Sox are paying out and since Kim is now traded, $6 million is shaved off the tax. The second and more plausible scenario is brought to you by a poster named PedroKsBambino:

Kim is on the cap for $5 mil. Johnson for $7 mil. But, Johnson’s actual salary for 2005 is more like $9 mil, and Kim’s is $6 mil. And, I assume both the Sox and Rockies had already decided to dump their players for nothing otherwise.
So if we assume that the Rockies pay $3 mil to the Sox in addition to now paying Kim, they are breaking even cash-wise from where they’d be if they just dumped CJ ($9 mil to dump him versus $3 mil for him to the Sox and $6 mil to Kim), and they’ve essentially traded Narveson for a free Kim. Not a bad gamble for them.
The Sox (after the $3 mil fro Colo) effectively pay Johnson $6 mil instead of Kim $6 mil, so no cash loss there. They get Narveson instead of Kim (no loss there, either!).
Johnson’s cap hit would be $7 mil, versus the $5 mil for Kim. But, as I recall, cash included in a deal counts against the sending team’s cap and is taken off the receiving team’s cap. So Johnson’s effective cap hit in Boston would be only $4 mil ($7 mil – $3 mil).
Thus, the Sox save a luxury tax payment on $1 mil of salary (Kim’s cap hit of $5 mil versus CJ’s effective cap hit of $4 mil). (SOSH)

Either way, the Red Sox make out cash-wise in this trade and also trade Kim.

“We certainly made a mistake and I take responsibility for that,” Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said. “It’s just a mystery what happened to this guy.”
Kim, a 26-year-old sidearmer, was a major factor in Boston reaching the 2003 playoffs, but Epstein said Wednesday he should have let Kim get a one-year contract through arbitration rather than sign him to a two-year deal.
“I’m not so sure [success] would have happened to him in Boston,” he said. “He was crying for a change of scenery.”
Epstein said Kim, when informed of the trade, apologized for not doing better. (ESPN.com)

So now … who is Chris Narveson?
A year ago, FOX SPORTS ranked him the third best prospect in the Cardinals organization.

3. Chris Narveson, LHP, Age: 22
Narveson, a high school-trained second-rounder in 2000, lost the 2001 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He returned in 2002, but that was for the most part a rebound year. In 2003, he pitched well in the Florida State League and adequately in the Southern Leaguer. But what’s troubling is that he developed shoulder soreness toward the end of the season. He can throw four pitches for strikes, and his changeup in particular is already quite strong. He’s struggling with his control in the early going at AA-Tennessee, but he is striking guys out at a nice clip. Right now, the concerns are health and performance against advanced competition. In other words, Narveson has much to prove. ETA: Late 2005. (FOX Sports)

Well … in 2004, Narveson had a 4.16 ERA in 23 starts for Double-A Tennessee for the Cardinals. He went 5-10 and then was traded to the Rockies as part of the Larry Walker trade. For Double-A Tulsa, he went 0-3 in 20.0 IP for four starts. He had a 3.15 ERA and posted the best H/9 since 2001 – 7.20. Narveson has always been stingy with walks but his walks have increased (and thereby, his WHIP) in recent years, making this something that needs to be nipped in the bud. He rarely gives up home-runs and strikes out enough to be considered a K pitcher.
A year ago he was thought to turn out to be an eventual #3 starter, but now people say his ceiling is a #5 starter. We shall see. Narveson will either report to AA Portland or AAA Pawtucket. If he reports to AAA Pawtucket, he, Malaska, and DiNardo should fight for lefty bullpen spots next year when/if Alan Embree and John Halama depart.
BOLD PREDICTION: By 2007, Narveson is the top lefty out of the bullpen.