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Red Sox trade Franklin Morales to Rockies for Jonathan Herrera

The Red Sox have agreed to send Franklin Morales and Chris Martin to Colorado in exchange for Jonathan Herrera.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox have traded relief pitcher Franklin Morales and minor leaguer Chris Martin to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for infielder Jonathan Herrera.

It's a rather ignominious end to Morales' time in Boston. He had a bright moment in 2012, when it looked like he might be emerging as the starter he was expected to be when he rose through the minors. But injury kept him from completing that turnaround and left him as little more than an afterthought in 2013. His 25 innings for the Sox this past year were unimpressive, and with both the bullpen and rotation filled out, there was little room left for him in Boston.

In return for Morales, the Red Sox get the backup infielder they need in Jonathan Herrera. He's absolutely a glove-first player, and can cover second, short, or even third as necessary while bringing little to the plate with the bat. That little, however, is enough. Last year, when Will Middlebrooks was demoted and Jose Iglesias' BABIP was shipped to Chicago, the Red Sox were left with the combination of Brock Holt and Brandon Snyder at the hot corner. Neither player produced a wRC+ of even 50, leaving the Sox with a -0.7 WAR from the position during their tenure there.

As for Chris Martin, he's a 27-year-old reliever who put up decent numbers in Pawtucket last year. He might see some time in the majors, but he's mostly a throw-in.

Herrera, on the other hand, put together a decent year in his fourth year in the league, hitting .292/.336/.364 in 215 plate appearances. That's good for a 0.4 WAR, which is about all you can ask out of someone like him. He might not quite match that offensive output, and he'll certainly be batting ninth when he's playing, but he'll work as a stopgap while the Red Sox go looking for a trade should Will Middlebrooks not be up to the task at third.

On a sidenote, this likely means the end of Stephen Drew in Boston. The Sox now have three players for the left side of the infield, which means there's no place for their shortstop of 2013. The Red Sox simply wouldn't have made this move if they were intending to bring him back--not unless they've got plans to send Will Middlebrooks elsewhere, that is, and so far we've heard nothing on that front.

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