The Red Sox have the fifth best bullpen in baseball this year and the best since April 21, but that didn’t stop them from acquiring some more in Craig Breslow. About 45 minutes before the Trade Deadline, the Red Sox shipped Matt Albers and Scott Podsednik to Arizona to receive the left-handed reliever. Despite Andrew Miller doing a respectable job of the bullpen this year– a 2.81 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 25.2 innings pitched– the Red Sox felt the need to add more left-handed pitching. This may be because they want to move Franklin Morales back to the starting rotation, where he pitched to a 3.43 in five starts.
However, Breslow isn’t just any left-handed reliever, he’s quietly had a great deal of success over the past few years. This year, he’s gone 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 43.2 innings with the Diamondbacks. While you may be wondering why they’d trade Matt Albers for a guy with worse stats, it’s mostly his peripherals. Breslow’s 8.72 strikeouts per nine innings and 3.32 K/BB ratio are far superior to Albers’ 5.72 and 1.67 marks. Plus, he’s a lefty– always a valuable commodity.
There’s also the fact that the Red Sox traded from their surplus of relievers and outfielders to get Breslow. They have so many relievers and outfielders that solid players are being blocked– making it very helpful that they were able to rid themselves of Albers and Podsednik and still get good value in return. Even though the Diamondbacks got much more talent in this trade than the Red Sox did, I’m not unhappy and I think this was a good trade for both teams.
In other news, the Red Sox finally got rid of former top prospect Lars Anderson– sending him to Cleveland for double-A pitcher Steven Wright. Anderson is a decent player, but with Adrian Gonzalez signed, he was never going to get a chance in Boston. The Red Sox didn’t really get much out of this deal, just a 27 year old in double-A. However, he has had plenty of success in double-A– posting a 2.49 ERA this year– and one interesting fact about Wright– he’s a knuckleballer. It’s a shame it had to end this way, but it’ll be good to at least see Anderson get a shot with the Indians.