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Red Sox trade Luis Alejandro Basabe, Jose Almonte to Diamondbacks for closer Brad Ziegler

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The Red Sox have traded two prospects to Arizona for their ever-reliable closer.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox have completed a trade with the Diamondbacks which will send Brad Ziegler, Arizona's closer, to the Red Sox in exchange for minor leaguers Luis Alejandro Basabe and Jose Almonte.

Basabe, at least, I will be sad to see go. As, presumably, will his brother, Luis Alexander Basabe, who has come up through the lower ranks of the system with him. Luis Alexander was always the better regarded of the two due to his outright athleticism and long-term potential, but Luis Alejandro had stolen much of the spotlight playing second base in Greenville this year, surprising evaluators as he busted out a .310/.412/.467 line in 229 at bats, showing off an unexpected ability to make solid contact while looking well above his age when it came to putting on good at bats.

Almonte is a bit less noteworthy, at least at the moment. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012 to a $610,000 bonus, Almonte has struggled with control throughout his minor league career even against the notoriously aggressive hitters that are found in the lowest levels of the minors. His fastball doesn't hit the mid-90s, and thus far his secondary offerings are pretty much all potential and no polish. He's young enough that there's still plenty of hope for him to take that fastball, iron out his control, and really focus in on one of his off-speed pitches to become a solid major league reliever, but there's a dozen guys like Almonte in most systems drawing relatively little attention.

No matter how high you are on these two, though (at least within reason), this seems like exactly the sort of deal the Red Sox should be looking for in the bullpen.

Ziegler is not a flashy closer in the vein of Craig Kimbrel. In fact, he hasn't even been the closer too oten throughout his career. What he has been is an extremely reliable reliever. He holds a 2.49 ERA in 567 innings of work, and while his strikeout and walk numbers are not the stuff of legends, Ziegler is one of those guys who does one thing extraordinarily well and builds everything else around it. In this case, it's throwing sinkers (from a submarine delivery, no less) and inducing ground balls. Since he entered the league, Ziegler is second best amongst all pitchers with even just 100 innings when it comes to keeping the ball on the ground. Yes, a few of those walks will haunt him when inevitably one or two of those ground balls gets through. But it's so damn hard to pick up that big extra-base hit against him that the damage is rarely severe. That makes him good in one-run games, and great in anything wider.

For the Red Sox, it's damn nice to have another arm to work with in the pen, too. It's worth noting that this deal was apparently in the works for a while now, so it's not a clear response to the injuries that left Craig Kimbrel and Junichi Tazawa unavailable in Friday night's game. Indeed, if either one of them is hurt for any decent period of time, then Ziegler will only serve to replace what was lost. But whether he's acting as a replacement for these guys or as support for them, the Sox have picked up a strong rental option in Ziegler without surrendering any of the names that might really cause alarm.