Part of clearing out the 40-man in preparation for the Rule 5 draft meant that multiple players were designated for assignment. Many of these players were then dealt elsewhere, for either a player to be named later or cash. On Thursday, Boston received Kyle Kaminska from the Pirates to complete the Zach Stewart swap, and one day later, have received Graham Godfrey from the Athletics to finish off the Sandy Rosario exchange.
Like Kaminska, Godfrey isn't on the 40-man roster, and will likely spend the year at Triple-A. Godfrey has thrown 46 innings in the majors, where the now 28-year-old right-hander has struck out just 23 batters while walking fifteen. Despite pitching for Oakland, with some appearances coming in a park designed for his profession, he owns a 5.09 career ERA in his limited duty.
Godfrey throws a fastball that used to hit 92 or so, but now sits in the high-80s and low-90s. It's a sinker -- that's how he gets out without the strikeout stuff -- but the problem has been that he doesn't have anything formidable to back it up. He uses a change and a slider, but as expected for a 28-year-old still looking to stick in the majors for good, they haven't quite developed enough. He does still have something going for him, though, as Baseball America voted him the top control in the Pacific Coast League.
He was a prospect half-a-decade ago, first for the Blue Jays -- who drafted him in the 34th round of the 2006 draft -- and then the A's, who picked him up as part of the 2007 trade for old friend Marco Scutaro. In those two seasons, Baseball America rated Godfrey the #18 and #28 prospects in the Jays and A's systems, respectively.
Since those days of fringe prospectdom, Godfrey has spent most of his time as a starter in the minors, striking out batters at a rate befitting a future Twins pitcher, but without the kind of command those arms tend to flash. Boston isn't likely to see him in the majors lest a whole lot of things go wrong, but, as we've come to be reminded in each of the last four seasons, things have a way of doing just that. It's not terrible having as much backup as you can slot in at Pawtucket, but there are diminishing returns beyond an add like Godfrey, who is fringe in every sense of the word.
With that all out of the way, he has advantages over Rosario. He doesn't take up a 40-man spot, and Boston has had some luck fixing command issues of late. The last thing the Red Sox need more of is relievers, but an emergency starter -- even if he's the white flag variety -- isn't a bad thing to stash away.