UPDATE #2: The deal is now official. With McKenry needing a spot on the 40-man roster, Scott Lauber says the Red Sox have designated Mark Wagner for assignment.
Often on the disabled list, Mark Wagner's trip through the organization stalled in Pawtucket last year. If this is the end of Wagner's time with the Red Sox, then it's a bit of a shame they never got to see if he could actually make anything of the promise he would flash on occasion. Still, McKenry appears to be a straight upgrade of a position that may well see its fair share of need for depth as the year goes on.
It seems, at this point, like the Red Sox have an overly enthusiastic leak in their clubhouse--the kind that Theo has done very well cracking down on in recent years (See: Lackey and Crawford signings).
I very much expect that this is a real deal--not only are the names too obscure to be pulled out of thin air, but it fits the Sox' desire to add a third young catcher to the mix. But given that it gets harder to pull these deals off after they're out in the open, we'll have to wait and see.
McKenry, 26, will act as added catching depth for the Red Sox after Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek, and in that capacity, I like him a lot more than the guys they've had in the past like Kevin Cash and Dusty Brown. While he's not exactly likely to ever make his way to being a major league starter, he's showed solid plate discipline through most of his career resulting in solid offensive numbers until he struggled at Triple-A in 2010. He has caught 37% of basestealers in his career, and provides strong defense behind the plate. Given what our backups have shown us in years past, this is a welcome addition.
Turpen, 24, was acquired by the Sox in the Ramon Ramirez trade last year. He only pitched about 30 innings during his tenure with the Sox, and was not particularly impressive in doing so, with a combined ERA over 5.00. He's never succeeded at Double-A, but with the Yankees having picked him up during the Rule-5 draft (eventually to return him, of course) and the Rockies dealing for him now, clearly teams see something in him.
While we're on the subject of Rule-5 draft picks, the Sox also recently received Cesar Cabral back from the Tampa Bay Rays. Cabral was something of a surprise pick having never thrown above A-ball, though he did get some attention after dominating in Greenville last year, allowing just one run in 31 innings. He would go on to struggle in High-A Salem.