The Red Sox have traded minor league pitcher Nefi Ogando to the Phillies in exchange for veteran infielder John McDonald and cash considerations
While waiver deals transformed the entire Red Sox franchise in 2012, this year's deal is about as low-impact as you can possibly get. John McDonald is a 38-year-old who, with his .174/.208/.304 batting line, should never see a meaningful at bat with the Red Sox. What he does provide them is defensive depth up the middle. We've seen Will Middlebrooks getting a few innings at second base in recent games, and if he's not made a fool of himself there, Will was never a long-term solution as Dustin Pedroia's backup.
Ogando, meanwhile, is a 24-year-old reliever at High-A Salem with an ERA north of four, making him not much of a loss for the organization.
Exactly how much John McDonald brings to the table over the likes of, say, Brock Holt is arguable. But it's not even clear that Holt will be returning to the team as soon as rosters expand. With Pawtucket heading to the playoffs in Triple-A, Holt could play a role there into September. The postseason success of their minor league affiliates is certainly not a priority for any franchise, but this deal was hardly done in place of anything else. No real gain, but no real loss.