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Red Sox Acquire Paul Byrd

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CLEVELAND -- Paul Byrd is going to have to reschedule his book signings. Perhaps a store in the Boston area will take him in.

The Indians traded the veteran Byrd to the Red Sox for a player to be named or cash on Tuesday.

Boston is getting Byrd at his best. After a rough first half in which he seemingly couldn't keep the ball in the park, Byrd changed his windup, rediscovered his curveball, curtailed the home runs and gone 4-0 with a 1.24 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break. He is 7-10 with a 4.53 ERA in 22 starts overall.

"I knew I had to do something different," Byrd said after a complete-game victory over the Blue Jays on Saturday. "I had to change. I feel good with where I'm at right now. I'm very confident. Better late than never."

And now, Byrd will be a late entry into the playoff race, joining a Red Sox team that is four games back of the Rays in the American League East.

It was not immediately known what corresponding roster move the Indians were planning to fill Byrd's spot in the rotation, which next comes up on Thursday. Left-handers Aaron Laffey, Dave Huff and Zach Jackson, all at Triple-A Buffalo, are possibilities.

Once the July 31 Trade Deadline passes, teams must put players through waivers before trading them. Every other team has the option of claiming a waived player, in reverse order of the standings. The team putting the player through waivers can then either let the player go, pull him back or try to work out a deal with the team that claimed the player.

Perhaps the trade will help Byrd's book sales. His "Free Byrd" memoirs were released last month, and he had two book signings scheduled in the Cleveland area.

With a 15-win season in 2007, Byrd was instrumental in helping the Indians tie the Red Sox for the best record in baseball. And his win in Game 4 of the AL Division Series with the Yankees set up a date with Boston in the ALCS.

But Byrd's involvement in the ALCS will best be remembered for the controversy that erupted regarding his admitted use of human-growth hormones. The story leaked in the San Francisco Chronicle the morning of Game 7, forcing Byrd to hold an impromptu press conference in the hall outside the visitors clubhouse at Fenway Park.

Byrd is returning to Fenway under better circumstances. In the days leading up to and after the July 31 non-waiver deadline, he said he was in a "win-win" situation, because he'd either finish the season with an Indians organization he had grown to love since coming aboard in 2006 or he'd finish it with a contender.

"There's a couple years where you're just happy to be here," Byrd said Saturday. "Then all of a sudden, you realize you play this game because you want to win and want to win a World Series. I'd love an opportunity to do that."

Perhaps the 37-year-old Byrd, who is 104-91 with a 4.37 ERA in 330 career appearances, will get that chance with the defending champs.

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