The Red Sox and Royals made a waiver deal today, swapping two players that had success in 2012 but have struggled so far in 2013. Red Sox reliever Clayton Mortensen earned a spot on this year’s opening day roster, posting a 3.21 ERA and 8.8 K/9 rate in 42 innings last year, but struggling in 30.1 innings this season, posting a terrible 5.34 ERA while seeing his strikeout rate drop to 6.2 per nine. Quintin Berry, on the other hand, was a key fill-in when injury struck the 2012 Tigers, batting .258/.330/.354 with impeccable fielding and baserunning. However, he failed to make the team in spring training after the offseason acquisition of Torii Hunter.
Berry has seen his stats plummet throughout the entire season, as he was atrocious in Triple-A Toledo, batting .168/.278/.234 before being designated for assignment by the Tigers. He was claimed off waivers by the Royals, and has slightly picked it up in Triple-A Omaha, batting .222/.343/.292, but has not demonstrably changed his lost season.
Berry is not on the 40-man roster, but the Red Sox could potentially add him to get him a bit of September playing time. Even if Berry continues to not hit, he could fill in as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner as the speedster was 21-21 in stolen base opportunities last year. This trade will probably not amount to anything, especially considering the logjam the Red Sox are facing in the upper minors. However, depth never hurts has been the motto of the 2013 Red Sox so far and it’s good to see that continue.