Remember when we were all (myself included) worried that management was not actually interested in upgrading the infield. It seemed it was all speculation coming from fans and media, but no actual reports connecting them to any. Well, earlier tonight there was a report connecting them to Adrian Beltre, but they’ve gone in another direction. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Red Sox have traded for Ian Kinsler of the Angels.
This is big. Brian Dozier was the rental that most of us were focused on, but Kinsler always loomed as a possibility and it came true. The veteran second baseman is a four-time All-Star and a Gold Glove winner, though those days are behind him. That being said, given how bad second base has been on the whole this is an upgrade. Even in a down year at the plate, Kinsler is hitting .239/.304/.406 for a 97 wRC+. Red Sox second baseman, for what it’s worth, have a wRC+ of 82 on the year. On top of that, Kinsler’s defense will be an indescribable upgrade over Eduardo Núñez and Brock Holt.
As for the cost, well, it’s not too much. According to Jon Heyman, the Red Sox will be parting with Ty Buttrey and Williams Jerez, a pair of Triple-A relievers.
Jerez and buttrey to laa for kinsler, now a Red Sox— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 31, 2018
These were two intriguing arms, Buttrey in particular, who I could very well see having a major-league future. That being said, we’ve all seen successful Triple-A relievers not translate to the majors, and getting a sure upgrade like Kinsler is well worth this price. It’s also worth noting that both Jerez and Buttrey were on the 40-man roster. Kinsler will obviously take one of those spots, but this allows them to make another deal on Tuesday (likely for a reliever) without having to worry about finding room on the roster. Good deal all around. Obviously, we’ll have much more on this tomorrow.