Red Sox GM Ben Cherington’s first trade was a signature “small, smart” move.
“The Red Sox have made their first trade of the offseason, acquiring right-handed reliever Burke Badenhop from the Brewers in exchange for 20-year-old lefty Luis Ortega.
In Badenhop, the Red Sox begin filling their needs in the bullpen with a 30-year-old who has been consistently dependable over the past five seasons. He threw 62 1/3 innings in 2013, striking out 42 and walking 12 while posting a 3.47 ERA. In 2012, he had nearly identical numbers while pitching with the Rays in the American League East.
A ground-ball pitcher, Badenhop has allowed six homers or less in each of his five full seasons as a reliever. He held right-handed batters to a .229 average, while lefties hit .338 against him.
A former starter in the Minors for the Tigers, Badenhop was traded to the Marlins in 2007 as part of the deal that sent Miguel Cabrera to Detroit. Badenhop was traded to the Rays in ’11 and then to the Brewers in ’12.
Badenhop made $1.55 million with the Brewers in 2013. He’s eligible for arbitration again for next season and will likely get a slight raise due to service time.
The Red Sox parted with Ortega, a prospect from the Dominican Republic who has a 2.25 ERA in two seasons in Rookie ball. He converted from a starter to a reliever in 2013 and increased his strikeout rate from 4.4 per nine innings to 6.4.”