Red Sox trade Dan Butler to Nationals, acquire Danny Rosenbaum


The Red Sox designated Dan Butler for assignment last week, making room for Craig Breslow on the 40-man roster, and they’ve now found a home for the defensive-minded catcher. Butler will be on the move to Washington in exchange for minor league lefty Danny Rosenbaum.

Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008, Butler rose through the ranks of Boston’s organization and finally made his MLB debut last season. And while he went just 4-19 in a brief stint in Boston, Butler’s strength won’t be with his bat. If he ever grows into a major league role, it will be as a defensive-minded backup catcher who can reach base at a respectable rate.

Coming to Boston will be Rosenbaum, a 27-year old left-hander yet to see any major league action. A soft-tossing lefty who thrives on deception rather than overpowering stuff, Rosenbaum has been a starter throughout his minor league career. He made just 4 starts in Triple-A Syracuse this season before undergoing Tommy John Surgery, posting a 4.50 ERA through 20 innings pitched. Over his last full season, though, he put up a solid but unspectacular 3.87 ERA to go with 5.8 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 across 28 starts in Syracuse.

Now 27 years old and blocked by many a talented youngster in the Red Sox organization, 2015 could very well be the season that he makes the seemingly inevitable switch to the bullpen. Even though he lacks excellent stuff, Rosenbaum’s pitches could play up over shorter outings and could be utilized in a lefty specialist role, as he limited lefties to a .263/.347/.309 slash line during his 2013 season.

Realistically, this move won’t have any major implications on Boston’s (or Washington’s) 2015 season. However, the Red Sox bullpen is looking a bit shallow– particularly with left-handers– and Rosenbaum’s presence could be helpful if the relief corps experience longterm injuries. Still, don’t expect Danny Rosenbaum to be the savior of the 2015 season.