The Boston Red Sox waited until the last possible day, but have acquired another late inning bullpen arm.
Over the weekend the New York Mets acquired Marlins closer A.J. Ramos, whom they see as a fit in their bullpen next season, meaning a trade involving Addison Reed was certainly inevitable. The Red Sox, linked to Reed for much of the past couple weeks, were reported to be closing in on a deal throughout the weekend and solidified that move early Monday morning according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Reed, a 28-year-old righty, has closed 19 of 21 save opportunities for the Mets this season, assuming the ninth inning role following incumbent closer Jeurys Familia missed significant time due to injury. Of course, he won’t be expected to close games in Boston and will slot into the setup role ahead of Craig Kimbrel. Reed’s no stranger to pitching in the eighth inning, though, having collected 40 holds in 2016.
In 48 appearances this season, he’s pitched 49 innings with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. He’s also struck out 48 batters to just six walks. While he won’t blow batters away with the 93 mph velocity on his fastball, he’s been able to strikeout nearly a batter per nine and keeps runners off base nonetheless. He also features an 86 mph slider that he uses 31% of the time per Brooks Baseball. It has below-average depth and movement but is still able to generate an above-average whiff rate with .222 average against.
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In exchange for their new setup man, the Red Sox traded three minor league prospects; Gerson Bautista, Jamie Callahan, and Stephen Nogosek. Of the three, Callahan is the most advanced, having spent most of the 2017 season with Triple-A Pawtucket. He has a 4.03 ERA in 22 relief appearances with a 1.41 WHIP and 12.41 K/9.
Meanwhile, Nogosek and Bautista are ranked 18th and 28th respectively among prospects in the organization per MLB Pipeline. Both are in High-A and aren’t expected to arrive in the major leagues until 2019. Nogosek was taken in the 6th round of the Amateur Draft in 2016 while Bautista was signed as an international free agent in 2013.
What the Red Sox gave up seems reasonable. Of course, some fans will criticize Dave Dombrowski for emptying the farm by giving up three prospects. But they’re the same ones that would criticize him for not trading three prospects and riding with their current bullpen. For a realistic benchmark of what Reed was worth in a trade, most have cited the return the Phillies received for Pat Neshek. The Rockies were sent three players as well, headlined by their 21st ranked prospect, infielder Jose Gomez.
None of Colorado’s prospects were as close to the majors as Boston’s Callahan, but their system is much deeper with far more potential further down the list. Even then, Callahan doesn’t project to serve as anything more than a middle reliever once he is in the big leagues. You could even make the argument that the price for Eduardo Nunez was higher in terms of sheer potential than this deal.
All in all, no complaints in trading three relievers – two that are really far off – for one of the better late inning arms in baseball. Excluding a power bat, which doesn’t seem to be on the market this season, the Red Sox have filled their final need on the roster. It would be surprising to see Dombrowski make any other moves between now and 4:00 on Monday afternoon.