Red Sox catching prospect Ronaldo Hernández has been red-hot at the plate for Double-A Portland

After a torrid month of July, Red Sox catching prospect Ronaldo Hernandez got his August off to a solid start for Double-A Portland on Sunday.

Though the Sea Dogs ultimately fell to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats by a final score of 7-6 at Hadlock Field, Hernandez certainly did his part to prevent that from happening.

Starting at designated hitter and batting out of the six-hole, the 23-year-old went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run and two runs scored on the afternoon.

The tw0-run homer, which came off Fisher Cats reliever Graham Spraker, was Hernandez’s 11th big fly of the year and it cut Portland’s deficit down to two runs at 7-5. Tanner Nishikoa followed with a solo shot of his own to make it a one-run game, but New Hampshire was ultimately able to hold and take the series finale in a close contest.

Hernandez’s two-hit outing raised his batting line on the season to a respectable .252/.296/.467 (103 wRC+) to go along with 12 doubles, 11 home runs, 25 RBI, 24 runs scored, eight strikeouts across 59 games (223 plate appearances) on the year.

The Red Sox originally acquired Hernandez — as well as infield prospect Nick Sogard — from the Rays back in February in exchange for relievers Chris Mazza and Jeffrey Springs as well as cash considerations.

Hernandez, who does not turn 24 until November, signed with Tampa Bay for $225,000 as an international free agent out of Colombia during the 2014 signing period.

After five years in the organization, the Rays added Hernandez to their 40-man roster in November 2019 in order to protect him from that winter’s Rule 5 Draft, though he did not play another game in their system after that (but spent time on the club’s taxi squad and postseason player pool) with the 2020 minor-league season being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since he was a member of Tampa Bay’s 40-man roster at the time of the four-player trade from this past February, Hernandez immediately joined Boston’s 40-man roster and received an invite to major-league spring training as a result.

The right-handed hitting backstop was optioned to the Sox’ alternate training site in early March and later began the 2021 minor-league campaign with Portland.

Through his first several weeks as a member of the Sea Dogs, Hernandez — for the most part struggled — as he hit just .210/.248/.384 (67 wRC+) over 138 trips to the plate from the beginning of May until the end of June.

As soon as the calendar flipped to July, however, Hernandez seemed to turn a corner offensively, and it started with a three-hit performance against the Fisher Cats in Manchester on July 4.

Over the next four weeks, Hernandez simply lit it up at the plate. In five games between the Reading Fightin Phils from July 13-18, he amassed a total of eight hits while boasting an OPS of 1.318 thanks to putting together three multi-hit outings.

By the time the month of July came to a close over the weekend, not only had Hernandez not been traded, but he also posted a stellar .324/.378/.588 slash line (158 wRC+) in addition to clubbing four homers, driving in 13 runs, and scoring 11 of his own over his last 22 games and 68 plate appearances dating back to July 1.

Among Double-A Northeast catchers with at least 50 at-bats over the course of July, Hernandez ranked first in batting average, first in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, first in OPS, tied-first in hits (22), second in doubles (6), tied-second in home runs, and second in RBI.

On the other side of the ball, it appears as though Hernandez still has room to develop when it comes to what he does defensively. So far this season, the 6-foot-1, 237 pound backstop has committed six errors while allowing 10 passed balls to elude him while behind the plate. He has also thrown out 13 of 49 (26.5%) runners attempting to steal off him.

Per his Baseball America scouting report, “Hernandez has a plus arm behind the plate and moves well for a big catcher, but his receiving is fringe-average and needs to continue to improve.”

Regarded by Baseball America as the No. 13 prospect in Boston’s farm system — which ranks tops among catchers in the system, Hernandez is currently one of four backstops on the Sox’ 40-man roster alongside veterans like Christian Vazquez and Kevin Plawecki and fellow prospect Connor Wong.

Given his standing on the Red Sox’ 40-man roster, one has to wonder if Hernandez could be in line for a promotion to Triple-A Worcester before season’s end if he continues to produce at a consistent level.

Not only would promoting Hernandez to the WooSox give the Red Sox a chance to evaluate how the young backstop adjusts to a new level of competition and new pitching staff, it would also grant them the opportunity to see if Hernandez is worthy of his 40-man spot, or if it would be better suited for another prospect in need of protection from December’s Rule 5 Draft.

(Picture of Ronaldo Hernandez: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox lose outfield prospect Marcus Wilson on waivers to Mariners

Red Sox outfield prospect Marcus Wilson has been claimed off waivers by the Mariners, the club announced earlier Monday afternoon.

Wilson, who turns 25 later this month, was initially designated for assignment by the Sox this past Friday so that the team could make room on its 40-man roster for newly-acquired reliever Hansel Robles.

After opening the 2021 campaign with Triple-A Worcester, Wilson slashed .242/.370/.452 (121 wRC+) to go along with 10 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, 30 RBI, 34 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, 41 walks, and 88 strikeouts over 64 games (265 plate appearances) with the WooSox.

The Red Sox originally acquired the right-handed hitting outfielder from the Diamondbacks in exchange for catcher Blake Swihart back in April 2019.

A former 2014 second-round draft pick of Arizona out of Junipero Serra High School (Gardena, Calif.), Wilson spent the remainder of the 2019 season between Double-A Portland and High-A Salem, as well as with the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League, before being added to Boston’s 40-man roster that November in order to avoid being eligible for that winter’s Rule 5 Draft.

While he was protected from the 2019 Rule 5 Draft, Wilson — listed at 6-foot-2 and 199 pounds — was a late addition to the Sox’ alternate training site roster the following summer and was an early cut from big-league camp this spring.

Taking that into consideration, as well as the fact that he was not a highly-touted prospect in Boston’s farm system (SoxProspects.com’s No. 34 prospect), it becomes clear that Red Sox brass were more than willing to lose Wilson via a waiver claim if it meant creating space on the team’s 40-man roster to accommodate other moves.

With the Mariners, Wilson — who was optioned to the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma — will join a crowded outfield mix that consists of Mitch Haniger, Jarred Kelenic, Kyle Lewis, and Taylor Trammell, among others.

(Picture of Marcus Wilson: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox swept by Rays following 3-2 defeat; Boston extends losing streak to season-high 4 straight games

After Xander Bogaerts essentially described Sunday night’s series finale against the Rays as a must-win, the Red Sox came up short at Tropicana Field and were unable to avoid a three-game series sweep at the hands of their division rivals by a final score of 3-2.

Nick Pivetta, making his 21st start of the season for the Sox, took a perfect game into the third inning after sitting down each of the first eight batters he faced in order.

A two-out walk to the Rays’ No. 9 hitter in the bottom of the third, however, altered the course for Pivetta, as he saw his no-hit bid come to an end moments later by serving up a two-run home run to Brandon Lowe on a 3-2, 85 mph slider that was grooved down the heart of the plate.

Lowe’s blast put Tampa Bay up 2-0, but the Boston bats were able to cut that deficit in half in the top of the fourth. There, when matched up against tough Rays starter Shane McClanahan, ex-Rays outfielder Hunter Renfroe put a charge into his 16th big fly of the year.

Renfroe turned around a 2-2, 97 mph fastball from McClanahan and deposited it 427 feet to deep center field. The solo shot, which had an exit velocity of 104 mph, made it a 2-1 game in favor of the Rays.

The Sox had a chance to do more damage in the inning, with Christian Vazquez ripping a one-out single and Alex Verdugo advancing him into scoring position by drawing a walk, but McClanahan rallied by getting Kevin Plawecki to fly out and Bobby Dalbec to strike out to escape the jam.

Pivetta, meanwhile, got through a scoreless fourth inning unscathed, but ran into more trouble in the fifth when he yielded a leadoff single to rookie phenom Wander Franco.

A wild pitch from the right-hander allowed Franco to move up to second base, and old friend Manuel Margot took full advantage of that miscue by lacing a run-scoring single to right field to bring in Franco and make it a 3-1 contest in favor of his side.

Following that sequence, Pivetta was able to record the first two outs of the fifth, but his night ended then and there when Red Sox manager Alex Cora gave him the hook with the left-handed hitting Lowe due up next for the Rays.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 76 (54 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler wound up surrendering three earned runs on three hits, one walk, and six strikeouts.

In relief of Pivetta, left-hander Josh Taylor was called upon to face Lowe, and he won that particular matchup by getting him to pop out into foul territory to retire the side.

From there, recently-acquired reliever Hansel Robles made his Red Sox debut in the sixth inning, and he maneuvered his way around a leadoff single by inducing a fielder’s choice out and 3-6-3 double play in his lone scoreless frame of work.

The Rays turned to their bullpen starting in the seventh after McClanahan had given them six strong innings, and Verdugo greeted their first reliever of the night — Drew Rasmussen — by lining a scorching 111 mph double down the right field line to lead things off.

Verdugo moved up to third on a Plawecki fly out and scored on a wild pitch while Kiké Hernández, but even after Hernández himself singled and Rafael Devers drew a walk with two outs, a slumping J.D. Martinez was unable to bring in either runner and instead grounded into a force out to leave things at 3-2 in favor of Tampa Bay.

Following two scoreless innings of relief from Garrett Whitlock in which he scattered three total hits thanks to some stellar defense behind him out of the bullpen, the Red Sox were down to their final three outs going into their half of the ninth inning.

With righty reliever Matt Wisler on the mound for the Rays, Plawecki and Jarren Duran (pinch-hitting for Dalbec) grounded out and punched out, respectively. But Hernández provided a spark by reaching base on a two-out single.

The pinch-running Jonathan Arauz took over for Hernández as the base runner at first base, and Devers was able to advance him all the way up to third on another base hit to center field, leaving things in the hands of Martinez.

Very much in need of a hit, Martinez got ahead in the count against Wisler at 3-1, but swung at an outside pitch that likely would have been a ball before putting an 81 mph slider that was down and away in play.

Unfortunately for Martinez, the ball left his bat at just 71 mph and traveled a mere 226 feet before landing in the glove of Margot for the third and final out of the ninth, thus sealing a 3-2 defeat for the Sox.

In the process of getting swept by the Rays on Sunday night, the Red Sox went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position while leaving 10 men on base as a team.

Sunday’s loss also extends Boston’s losing streak to a season-high four consecutive games, dropping them to 63-44 on the year. They now trail Tampa Bay by 1 1/2 games for first place in the American League East after what was undoubtedly a crushing weekend.

That said, the Red Sox will be off on Monday as they prepare to embark upon the next portion of this three-city road trip in Detroit against a surprising 51-57 Tigers team led by Cora’s former colleague in A.J. Hinch.

Boston previously bested Detroit by taking the opening and concluding games of a three-game set at Fenway Park back in early May. The Sox outscored the Tigers, 28-22, in the process of doing so.

This time around, right-hander Garrett Richards will get the ball for Boston in Tuesday’s series opener at Comerica Park. He will be opposed by fellow righty Wily Peralta for Detroit.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN. Red Sox will be looking to snap this four-game skid.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo and Hunter Renfroe: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Red Sox fail to sign second-round-pick Jud Fabian as outfielder returns to Florida for senior season

Sunday’s 5 p.m. eastern time deadline for clubs to sign their 2021 draft selections has passed, and it can now officially be said that the Red Sox failed to sign second-round pick Jud Fabian.

Fabian, an outfielder out of the University of Florida, announced via Twitter Saturday that he would be returning to campus for his senior season with the Gators next spring.

The Sox selected the 20-year-old in the second-round of last month’s amateur draft with the 40th overall pick, knowing it would likely take more than $1,856,700 (the recommend slot value for that particular selection) to sign him.

Last week, The Athletic’s Peter Gammons tweeted that Fabian would not be signing with Boston on account of the fact that the Sox were not willing to offer the Ocala, Fla. native a signing bonus of $3 million.

Earlier Sunday, MLB.com’s Jim Callis wrote that “the Orioles reportedly would have given [Fabian] $3 million had he gotten to them at pick No. 41, but the Red Sox took him at No. 40.”

Due to their remaining pool space after already signing a number of their draft picks, the most Boston could offer Fabian without surrendering their 2022 first-round pick was approximately $2,100,680, per Callis.

This is the case because, in this scenario, the Red Sox would be exceeding their total bonus pool space by more than 5%, resulting in next year’s first-rounder being taken away from them as punishment.

Fabian, who turns 21 in September, was viewed by many as a potential first-round pick coming into the 2021 season, but saw his stock decline after an up-and-down spring in Gainesville.

Over 59 games (269 plate appearances) with the Gators earlier this year, the 6-foot-2 right-handed hitter and left-handed thrower slashed .249/.364/.560 with 10 doubles, 20 home runs, 46 RBI, 51 runs scored, six stolen bases, 40 walks, and 79 strikeouts while primarily playing center field.

Because he enrolled at Florida early and skipped his senior year of high school, Fabian will still be among the younger college prospects headlining next summer’s draft.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, will receive the 41st overall pick in the 2022 draft as compensation for not signing Fabian. That will come in addition to their own second-round selection.

According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Fabian is believed to be the highest Sox selection not to sign since first rounder Greg McMurtry, who the club selected at No. 14 overall out of Brockton High School back in 1986.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom had the following to say regarding Fabian returning to Florida, as transcribed by MLB.com’s Ian Browne.

(Picture of Jud Fabian: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Brandon Workman elects free agency after Red Sox outright reliever to Triple-A Worcester

Before wrapping up a three-game weekend series against the Rays in St. Petersburg on Sunday night, the Red Sox outrighted reliever Brandon Workman off their 40-man roster, the club announced.

Workman, in turn, had the option to accept an assignment to Triple-A Worcester, but instead elected to become a free agent.

The Sox initially designated the veteran right-hander for assignment this past Thursday in order to make room on its 40-man roster for the acquisition of All-Star outfielder Kyle Schwarber from the Nationals.

Workman, who turns 33 later this month, opened the 2021 season with the Cubs, but was released in late April after posting a 6.75 ERA and 6.28 FIP over 10 relief appearances spanning eight innings pitched with Chicago.

Shortly after being let go by Chicago, though, Workman inked a minor-league deal to return to Boston — the organization he began his pro career with as a second-round draft choice in 2010 — in early May and was later added to the major-league roster on June 3 after impressing with the WooSox.

Upon rejoining the Red Sox’ bullpen, however, Workman endured the same struggles he endured earlier in the season as well as in his time with the Phillies last year.

Over 19 outings (20 innings of work) from June 3 through July 29, the Texas native put up an unsightly 4.95 ERA and .864 OPS against while striking out as many batters as he walked (14) in his second stint with the Sox.

Now that he is back on the open market, it should be interesting to see how willing Workman will be to sign a minor-league pact with another club seeing how that is likely his best path back to the majors.

(Picture of Brandon Workman: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Martín Pérez gives up 3 homers as Red Sox fall to Rays, 7-3, in first game after trade deadline

Hours after seeing the trade deadline come and go without acquiring a starting pitcher, the Red Sox were rocked by the Rays by a final score of 7-3 at Tropicana Field on Friday night.

Martin Perez, making his 21st start of the season for the Sox, was shelled for six runs — all of which were earned — on seven hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts over four innings of work.

The one walk proved to be what did Perez in out of the gate, as he issued a two-out free pass to Austin Meadows before serving up a two-run home run to Yandy Diaz in the first inning, giving Tampa Bay an early 2-0 lead.

More two-out trouble arose for Perez in the bottom half of the third, with the veteran left-hander nearly maneuvering his way around a one-out single to Nelson Cruz, but instead gave up a two-out base hit to Diaz, which was followed by a two-run double off the bat of rookie phenom Wander Franco.

The Boston bats, matched up against Rays starter Josh Fleming, battled back in the fourth, as Xander Bogaerts led things off with a groundball single and came into score his side’s first run of the night following a Hunter Renfroe walk and Christian Vazquez RBI single.

Vazquez, however, was thrown out as second base as he attempted to extend his single into a double, though Bobby Dalbec was able to drive in Renfroe to cut the Sox’ deficit in half at 4-2.

Despite cutting into the Rays’ lead, Perez fell victim to the long ball once more in the bottom of the fourth, as he served up a pair of solo homers to Mike Zunino and Randy Arozarena before recording the final out of the inning in what had become a 6-2 game.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 72 (45 strikes), the 30-year-old southpaw was ultimately hit with his seventh loss of the year while seeing his ERA on the season inflate to 4.56.

Another run-scoring double courtesy of Renfroe off Fleming pulled Boston back to within three runs in their half of the fifth, but Red Sox reliever Yacksel Rios gave that run right back by giving up a one-out triple to Franco that was followed by a wild pitch that allowed Franco to easily score and make it a 7-3 contest in favor of Tampa Bay.

From there, Rios tossed a scoreless sixth inning, Hirokazu Sawamura stranded a pair of runners in the seventh in his return from the injured list, and Josh Taylor twirled a shutout bottom of the eighth to hold the Rays at seven runs.

That said, the Sox offense was not able to get anything going against the Rays bullpen, and 7-3 would go on to be Friday’s final score.

With the loss, their second straight, the Red Sox fall to 63-42 on the season while their lead over the Rays for first place in the American League East decreased to just 1/2 a game.

Some additional notes from Friday night:

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Yarbrough

The Red Sox will turn to right-hander Nathan Eovaldi as they look to halt their two-game losing streak in the middle game of this pivotal three-game weekend series.

The Rays will counter with left-hander Ryan Yarbrough, who has allowed 14 runs (11 earned) over seven innings of work spanning two outings (one start) against the Sox this season.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Martin Perez: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign fifth-round pick Nathan Hickey for $1 million, per report

The Red Sox have signed fifth-round draft pick Nathan Hickey, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

Per Callis, Hickey — a catcher — has signed with the Sox for $1 million, which is well above the recommended slot value of $410,100 for the 136th overall selection in this year’s draft and is tied for the highest bonus total given to any prospect taken in rounds 4-10.

Hickey, 21, was the first and only catcher taken by Boston in the 2021 amateur draft and was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 131 prospect in this year’s class, ranking 10th among eligible backstops.

A sophomore out of the University of Florida, Hickey — a native of Jacksonville, Fla. — posted an impressive .317/.435/.522 slash line to go along with 15 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 50 RBI, 40 runs scored, one stolen base, 42 walks, and 40 strikeouts over 60 games (278 plate appearances) with the Gators this spring.

While he is listed as a catcher, the 6-foot, 210-pound left-handed hitter also played four games at first base and five games at third base this season, leading to him drawing comparisons to newly-acquired Red Sox outfielder Kyle Schwarber.

According to his pre-draft scouting report from MLB Pipeline, “Hickey has raised his offensive profile to the point where he’s now being considered to be one of the best bats in Florida. He has a solid approach at the plate, drawing a ton of walks. He’s been tapping into his power and while some scouts see a bit of a max effort swing, he’s cut his strikeout rate down considerably this year. Hickey lost 20-25 pounds when he first got to Florida and has kept the weight off, making him more athletic in the box.

“The bat is going to have to play because few scouts believe he’ll be able to catch long-term. He has more than enough arm for the position, but lacks the agility or the hands to deal with high-octane pitching. The best possible defensive outcome might be for him to move to left field and let the bat carry him to the big leagues in a Kyle Schwarber type of trajectory.”

In signing Hickey to an over-slot deal, the Red Sox have now locked up 14 of their 20 draft picks that were made earlier this month. They have also signed Clemson University outfielder Kier Meredith and Western Oklahoma State College right-hander Jhonny Felix as undrafted free agents.

With less than 48 hours to go until the draft signing deadline (5 p.m. eastern time on Sunday), the most prevalent Boston draft pick who remains unsigned is Hickey’s college teammate in Florida outfielder Jud Fabian, whom the club took in the second round at No. 40 overall.

As noted by SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall, “the maximum the Red Sox could offer Jud Fabian without exceeding the bonus pool by more than 5% is [approximately] $2.1 million,” though that number would decrease if “if they sign any of their remaining draftees for over $125,000.”

Earlier this week, The Athletic’s Peter Gammons tweeted that Fabian would not be signing with Boston since the Sox were not willing to offer the 20-year-old sophomore a signing bonus of $3 million.

Of course, that could just be a negotiation tactic on the part of Fabian’s camp, and the Red Sox could counter by daring Fabian to turn down what is essentially late first-round money and return to school for his junior season.

If Fabian, who turns 21 in September, were to not sign by Sunday’s deadline, the Sox would be compensated by receiving the 41st overall pick in next year’s draft in addition to their own second-round selection.

That being said (and as was discussed on the most recent episode of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast), it would be a rough look for Chaim Bloom, Paul Toboni, and Co. if the Sox were unable to sign Fabian after making him their first pick of Day 2 of this year’s draft.

(Picture of Nathan Hickey: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Red Sox roster moves: Hirokazu Sawamura activated from injured list; Jonathan Araúz recalled from Triple-A Worcester; Marcus Wilson designated for assignment

Before opening up a three-game weekend series against the Rays at Tropicana Field on Friday, the Red Sox made a flurry of roster moves in the wake of Friday afternoon’s trade deadline.

First off, infielder Jonathan Arauz was recalled from Triple-A Worcester. Secondly, reliever Hirokazu Sawamura was returned from his rehab assignment with Worcester and was activated from the injured list. Finally, outfielder Marcus Wilson was designated for assignment.

The Red Sox made all these transactions official earlier Friday evening.

This series of roster moves comes after the Sox made three significant additions within the last 24 hours, acquiring All-Star outfielder Kyle Schwarber from the Nationals while adding relievers Hansel Robles and Austin Davis in trades with the Twins and Pirates, respectively.

With reliever Brandon Workman being designated for assignment on Thursday night, infielder/outfielder Michael Chavis being traded to Pittsburgh in exchange for Davis and Wilson being designated for assignment on Friday, Boston was able to create three 40-man roster spots for Schwarber, Robles, and David.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Sawamura returning from the injured list essentially fills the vacancy on the big-league roster left behind by Workman, while Arauz will take Chavis’ spot on the Sox’ 26-man roster for the time being.

Cotillo also notes that the Red Sox will need to make additional moves this weekend in order to add Robles and Davis to the major-league roster. Schwarber is expected be placed on the 10-day injured list since he is still recovering from a hamstring strain.

Arauz, who was added to Boston’s taxi squad for their three-city, 10-game road trip, will start at third base and bat out of the nine-hole in Friday’s series opener against Tampa Bay.

The soon-to-be 23-year-old infielder is about to embark upon his second major-league stint of the season with the Red Sox. In four games against the Athletics and Angels from May 12-16 at Fenway Park, he went 2-for-8 (.250) at the plate with one double, one RBI, two runs scored, two walks, and three strikeouts over 10 plate appearances.

Sawamura, meanwhile, returns to the Boston bullpen after missing the minimum 10 days on the 10-day injured list with right triceps inflammation. The 33-year-old righty was initially placed on the IL on July 23 (retroactive to July 20) and later tossed a scoreless first inning in his lone rehab outing for the WooSox at Polar Park this past Wednesday.

In his first season with the Red Sox, Sawamura has been quite effective, posting a 2.87 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 44:18 over 38 relief appearances spanning 37 2/3 innings of work.

As for Wilson, he was designated for assignment to allow for the Sox to create more space on their 40-man roster for their deadline acquisitions.

Originaly acquired from the Diamondbacks in exchange for catcher Blake Swihart back in April 2019, the 24-year-old outfield prospect has slashed .242/.370/.452 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI across 64 games (265 plate appearances) with the WooSox so far this season.

The Red Sox will have the next seven days to either trade, release, or outright Wilson off their 40-man roster.

With all these moves made, Boston’s 40-man roster is now at full capacity.

(Picture of Hirokazu Sawamura: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox acquire left-handed reliever Austin Davis from Pirates in exchange for Michael Chavis

The Red Sox have acquired left-handed reliever Austin Davis from the Pirates in exchange for infielder/outfielder Michael Chavis, the club announced Friday afternoon.

Davis, 28, posted a 5.59 ERA and 4.59 xFIP to go along with 11 strikeouts and five walks over 10 relief appearances spanning 9 2/3 innings of work across three big-league stints with the Pirates this season.

The 6-foot-4 lefty began the 2021 campaign on the 60-day injured list after suffering a left elbow sprain during the offseason that prevented him from appearing in any spring training games.

Originally selected by the Phillies in the 12th round of the 2014 amateur draft out of California State University, Davis — a California native — began his major-league career with Philadelphia in 2018 before being designated for assignment and getting dealt to Pittsburgh last August.

Per Baseball Savant, Davis operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a four-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup, though he only threw one pitch this season while with the Pirates.

In addition to providing the Red Sox with another left-handed option out of the bullpen, Davis also comes with multiple years of control, as he does not become eligible for salary arbitration until 2023 and could remain with the club through 2025 before hitting free agency.

On top of that, Davis does have one minor-league option remaining, though it appears he will be added to the Sox’ active roster out of the gate.

Chavis, meanwhile, sees his tenure with the Red Sox come to a rather disappointing close after being selected by the club in the first round of the 2014 amateur draft.

Once regarded as one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system, Chavis made his major-league debut for the Sox in April 2019 and made his impact felt right away by clubbing 18 home runs and collecting 58 RBI through his first 95 games as a big-leaguer.

Since then, however, it has been somewhat of a struggle for the soon-to-be 26-year-old right-handed hitter. This season alone, he has hit just .190/.207/.342 with all of two homers and six RBI over 31 games (82 plate appearances) while being shuttled back-and-forth between Boston and Triple-A Worcester.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, perhaps a change of scenery is best for Chavis, as he should run into more playing time with former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington — who was with the club when Chavis was drafted in 2014 — running the show in Pittsburgh.

(Picture of Austin Davis: Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

Red Sox acquire veteran reliever Hansel Robles from Twins in exchange for pitching prospect Alex Scherff

The Red Sox have acquired veteran reliever Hansel Robles and cash considerations from the Twins in exchange for pitching prospect Alex Scherff, the team announced Friday afternoon.

Robles, who turns 31 on August 13, posted a 4.91 ERA and 4.82 FIP to go along with 43 strikeouts and 24 walks over 45 relief appearances spanning 44 innings of work for Minnesota this season.

The right-hander, formerly of the Mets and Angels, signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Twins back in December and has converted 10 of a possible 12 save opportunities so far this year, though he has struggled to the tune of a 9.64 ERA in 10 outings (9 1/3 innings) in the month of July alone.

Per Baseball Savant, Robles operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a four-seam fastball, changeup, slider, and sinker. He has averaged 96.7 mph with his four-seamder — his go-to pitch — in 2021, which ranks in the 91st percentile among all major-leaguers.

Since he is on a one-year deal, Robles is essentially a rental since he can become a free agent at the end of the season. In the meantime, the Dominican-born righty will join a Boston bullpen mix that includes the likes of Matt Barnes, Adam Ottavino, Josh Taylor, Darwinzon Hernandez, Yacksel Rios, Hirokazu Sawamura, and Austin Davis (more on him later).

Scherff, meanwhile, becomes the second intriguing pitching prospect the Red Sox have had to part ways with along with Aldo Ramirez — who was sent to the Nationals in exchange for All-Star outfielder Kyle Schwarber late Thursday night.

Originally selected by the Sox in the fifth round of the 2017 amateur draft out of Colleyville Heritage High School (Colleyville, Texas), the 23-year-old began his pro career as a starter but has since been converted into a reliever.

After opening the 2021 campaign with High-A Greenville and posting a 2.78 ERA and 2.73 FIP over 17 appearances and 22 2/3 innings, Scherff earned a promotion to Double-A Portland on July 6.

In six outings spanning 6 2/3 innings pitched with the Sea Dogs, the young right-hander allowed just two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks to go along with nine strikeouts.

At the time he was traded, Scherff was regarded by SoxProspects.com as the No. 53 prospect in Boston’s farm system. He is also eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter, so the Red Sox create some more roster flexibility in dealing him away since they were unlikely to protect him, or in other words, add him to their 40-man roster by November 20.

(Picture of Hansel Robles: David Berding/Getty Images)