The Red Sox have made their first trade of the offseason and the first move towards adding to their bullpen. It is not, however, the kind of big move we are assuming they will make at some point this winter. Instead, in a deal with the Padres, the Red Sox have acquired a bit of depth to add to their stash. According to a report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Boston has acquired Colten Brewer from San Diego.
#RedSox on verge of getting RHP Colten Brewer from #Padres, source tells The Athletic. Return expected to be a non-40-man roster minor leaguer.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 20, 2018
Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston is reporting minor-league second baseman Esteban Quiroz will be the piece heading back to the Padres.
Source: infielder Esteban Quiroz goes to Padres in trade for Colten Brewer. @Ken_Rosenthal on Brewer deal— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) November 20, 2018
Brewer is a former fourth round pick of the Pirates from back in 2011, and he has spent most of his time since then in the minors. Brewer spent a few years in Pittsburgh’s system before getting selected by the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft in 2016. The righty became a free agent after the 2017 season and signed a minor-league deal with the Padres.
This past year he spent most of his time in Triple-A El Paso and performed pretty well. In the hitter-friendly PCL, Brewer pitched to a 3.75 ERA over 37 appearances and 48 innings, striking out almost 12 batters per nine innings and walking just under three. He posted a 2.93 FIP and a 2.55 DRA. The 26-year-old (he turned 26 in October after the season ended) got a brief call-up to the majors where he did not perform so well. In 11 outings and 9 2⁄3 innings he allowed six earned runs (5.59 ERA) with 10 strikeouts and seven walks.
As far as how he fits on the roster, Brewer was on San Diego’s 40-man roster so he’ll either need to be placed on Boston’s 40-man or put through waivers. Presumably, he’ll be placed on the 40-man. The Red Sox currently have five open spots, though as we discussed earlier this week they have five players they could potentially protect from the Rule 5 draft that need 40-man spots. That deadline is Tuesday at 8:00 PM ET. So, either one of those five players won’t be protected or they’ll need to designate someone for assignment.
As for Quiroz, he was certainly an interesting piece that I am a bit surprised got traded. The second baseman was signed out of Mexico prior to last season and was seen as a potential major-league depth piece if everything went well. Unfortunately, the majority of his season was marred by injury. In all he played just 32 games and put up a .953 OPS in that time and also posted a .963 OPS in the Arizona Fall League. The 26-year-old seemed like solid second base depth, and with Dustin Pedroia’s health questions he could have served a role. However, the team must be confident in guys like Brock Holt, Eduardo Núñez, Tzu-Wei Lin and even Blake Swihart to fill that depth role.
In all, it seems like a solid albeit minor deal that helps the Red Sox in a position of need. Brewer’s numbers from Triple-A in 2018 are exciting at least, and he is added to a group of solid right-handed depth options. If you have enough of those, eventually one or two will stick.
Also, as I write this, Rosenthal says the deal is done.
#RedSox trade for Colten Brewer is done, per source.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 20, 2018