The Red Sox have announced a trade that will send minor league pitcher Luis Ortega to Milwaukee in exchange for Brewers right-handed reliever Burke Badenhop.
Badenhop, 30, is a veteran of six major league seasons having gone from Miami to Tampa Bay before finally winding up in Milwaukee last year. He holds a career 3.98 ERA, but has pitched noticeably better in these past two years, seeing his walk rate drop dramatically. A sinkerballer, Badenhop gets a good number of ground balls, which is always what you want to see in Fenway Park.
While Badenhop has been used as a pretty straight-forward one-inning reliever, it's worth noting he carries big splits over the course of his career, allowing a .340 wOBA to lefties and .282 to righties. That's not the worst figure in the world against lefties, though, just a really good number against same-handed hitting. Given that, he does not need to be used quite as carefully as some of the league's one-out relievers, though John Farrell would still do well to pick and choose the innings he gets to avoid a trio of southpaws.
All-in-all, this seems like a perfect small move for the Red Sox. They certainly could have used someone like Badenhop at times last year when they were running Koji Uehara, Craig Breslow, and Junichi Tazawa into the ground, unable to trust anyone else to hold even a three-run lead. He's not flashy, but he seems reliable, and only cost them a minor leaguer in Luis Ortega who hasn't pitched outside of the rookie ball in the Gulf Coast League.