Red Sox sign former Reds right-hander José De León to minor-league deal

The Red Sox have signed right-hander Jose De Leon to a minor-league contract, De Leon himself announced on Twitter Thursday.

“Since ‘97, when I started playing baseball, I always dreamed about being a Red Sox,” De Leon wrote Thursday morning. “Today, the dream of that little kid from Isabela, Puerto Rico, becomes reality. So kids, never stop dreaming! We’re back #OnAMission.”

De Leon, who turns 29 on Saturday, was released by the Reds on July 23 after being designated for assignment on July 19.

Across nine appearances (two starts) with Cincinnati this season, the righty posted an 8.35 ERA and 4.53 FIP to go along with 33 strikeouts and 11 walks over 18 1/3 total innings pitched from April 5 through May 4.

Optioned to Triple-A Louisville on May 5, De Leon put up an ERA of 4.63 — but a much more respectable 3.02 FIP — in 12 outings spanning 11 2/3 innings of work with the Bats prior to getting DFA’d.

A native of Isabela, Puerto Rico, the 6-foot-2, 215 pound hurler was originally selected by the Dodgers in the 24th round of the 2013 amateur draft out of Southern University. He was traded to the Rays in January 2017 in exchange for Logan Forsythe, missed the entirety of the 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery that March, and was later traded to the Reds in November 2019 in exchange for cash considerations and a player to be named later.

Once regarded as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, De Leon made his major-league debut with the Dodgers in September 2016 and has appeared in a grand total of 22 games (six starts) at the big-league level between Los Angeles, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati.

In those 22 outings, De Leon has pitched to the tune of an 8.44 ERA and 5.98 FIP while striking out 27.7% and walking 14.5% of the batters he has faced. He also owns a lifetime 3.35 ERA at the Triple-A level.

Per Baseball Savant, De Leon operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a sinker, changeup, and slider. He has also utilized a four-seam fastball in the past.

While it’s unclear at the moment which affiliate De Leon is report to (likely Triple-A Worcester), one thing is for certain: the right-hander does represent some intriguing pitching depth for a club that is seemingly in need of it at the moment.

On top of that, De Leon played alongside Red Sox outfielder Jarren Duran and for Red Sox quality control coach Ramon Vazquez for Criollos de Caguas (Alex Cora’s hometown team) of the Puerto Rican Winter League last winter, so there is certainly some familiarity there.

Is it time for the Red Sox to give Yairo Muñoz another chance?

While the Red Sox were in the process of dropping their fifth straight game in a 4-2 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park on Tuesday night, Yairo Munoz was busy making history for Triple-A Worcester.

With a leadoff single in the fourth inning of the WooSox’ contest against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in Moosic, Pa., Munoz extended his hitting streak to 25 consecutive games, tying former Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury — who did it in 2007 — for the longest such streak in the history of the club’s Triple-A affiliate.

By adding on a single in the eighth inning of Worcester’s 7-2 victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Munoz raised his batting line on the season to a solid .303/.333/.436 to go along with 13 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 28 RBI, 32 runs scored, 13 stolen bases, 12 walks, and 39 strikeouts in 67 games (283 plate appearances) with the WooSox.

Dating back to July 1, when his streak began with a modest 1-for-2 showing against the RailRiders, the right-handed hitting 26-year-old has slashed an impressive .394/.429/.566 (166 wRC+) while clubbing two of his five homers, collecting 12 of his 28 RBI, and scoring exactly half of his 32 runs over his last 25 games.

With an RBI single in the third inning of Wednesday night’s game against the RailRiders, Munoz extended his hitting streak to 26 consecutive games to surpass Ellsbury’s previous mark and make even more Red Sox Triple-A history in the process of doing so.

In the month of July alone, Munoz ranked second among Triple-A East hitters in total hits (36), 12th in extra-base hits (12), seventh in total bases (53), third in doubles (9), 19th in runs scored (16), second in stolen bases (10), second in batting average (.404), eighth in on-base percentage (.442), 14th in slugging percentage (.596), and ninth in OPS (1.038).

While he has been consistently performing at the plate as of late, Munoz — who is listed as an outfielder — has played all over the field for the WooSox, including nine games at first base, 42 games at third base, seven games at shortstop, two games in left field, three games in center field, and two games in right field.

The Red Sox originally signed Munoz to a minor-league contract last March, just weeks after he was somewhat-oddly released by the St. Louis Cardinals earlier that spring.

After the start of the 2020 season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dominican native spent the majority of his summer at Boston’s alternate training site in Pawtucket before having his contract selected in late August.

Making his Red Sox debut the following day, Munoz hit .333/.333/.511 over his first 12 games with the club before a lower back strain prematurely ended his season on September 17.

Despite providing a last-place team with a bit of his spark in his brief time with them, Munoz ultimately lost his spot on Boston’s 40-man roster in December, but somehow cleared waivers and was outrighted to Worcester.

Invited to major-league spring training as a non-roster invitee, the versatile 5-foot-11, 201 pounder appeared in eight Grapefruit League games and collected eight hits in 18 at-bats(.444 batting average), though he did not stand much of a chance of making the Sox’ Opening Day roster with the likes of Christian Arroyo and Michael Chavis ahead of him on the right-handed hitting depth chart.

After opening the 2021 minor-league campaign with the WooSox, Munoz got off to a slow start, posting an underwhelming .581 OPS through his first month with the team.

With this historic 25-game hitting streak, however, Munoz has emerged as someone who could be knocking on the Red Sox door sooner rather than later — if he is not doing so already, that is.

Munoz, who does not turn 27 until January, is a former top prospect of the Athletics, the organization he began his professional career with as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in January 2012.

He is someone that was part of the trade that sent outfielder Stephen Piscotty from St. Louis to Oakland prior to the start of the 2018 season, and — in his time with the Cardinals — proved to handle himself well at the plate while playing all over the field.

Upon getting called up by the Red Sox late last season, Munoz provided a jolt to a club that was in desperate need of one and likely would have continued to do so throughout the month of September had he not gotten injured.

As things currently stand, the Red Sox have hit a ball coming out of the All-Star break, as they are 8-8 dating back to July 16 and have averaged a measly 4.25 runs per game over that stretch.

Given what he did in his brief time with the Red Sox last year and what he has done with the WooSox to date, Munoz’s speed on the base paths and ability to move around the infield and outfield could jumpstart a Red Sox team that is in the midst of a season-high five-game losing streak.

“One thing about Yairo, he brings energy on a daily basis,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said on Wednesday. “He has that bat-to-ball skill regardless of where the ball is, you know? It can be way up there or way down there and he’ll find barrel. We’re very pleased with what he’s doing. Not only because of the results, but because he’s doing the things he’s supposed to do — playing hard and doing the things that winning players do.”

Of course, the Sox would need to add Munoz back to the 40-man roster to get him back in the mix, and that would require a corresponding move that would see someone lose their 40-man spot.

That said, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. have not shied away from shuffling around the 40-man roster if it meant potentially improving the club.

Most recently, Boston designated outfield prospect Marcus Wilson for assignment in order to add trade deadline acquisition Hansel Robles to the 40-man roster and, before that, designated Austin Brice for assignment in order to call up top outfield prospect Jarren Duran from Worcester.

Taking all that into consideration, perhaps the Sox would prefer to wait until rosters expand to September to give someone such as Munoz, who does have one minor-league option year remaining, another shot at the major-league level.

“This is a guy that has experience at the big-league level,” said Cora. “I saw him from afar last year and what he did last year here — as far as running the bases, being versatile, and finding ways to get on base — it was interesting. Obviously, we pay attention to everything that is going on and we’re very pleased with the way he’s going about it.”

Though Cora has been impressed with what he has seen from and read on Munoz, that does not necessarily mean he is on the verge of getting called up to the big-league squad, as previously stated.

“I’m not saying he’s on the radar or he’s not, but we are aware of what’s going on with him,” Cora said. “And every report we get is a positive one.”

(Picture of Yairo Munoz: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: Breaking down trade deadline moves with Pitcher List’s Sarah Griffin

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Pitcher List writer Sarah Griffin.

Among the topics Sarah and I discussed were the moves the Red Sox made ahead of last week’s trade deadline, how the team is in the midst of a season-worst four-game losing streak, the role Kyle Schwarber may play once he returns from the injured list, why Tanner Houck was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, how Chris Sale could fare in his first major-league action in two years, what other clubs — such as the Brewers and Dodgers — did to bolster their rosters at the deadline, how the final two months of the 2021 regular season will play out, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thanks to Sarah for taking some time out of her Tuesday to have this conversation with me. You can follow Sarah on Twitter by clicking here and read her work for Pitcher List by clicking here. Also, check out her new podcast — Saturdays n Seltzers — by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Fenway Park: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

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 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)

Red Sox designate veteran reliever Brandon Workman for assignment

After acquiring All-Star outfielder Kyle Schwarber from the Washington Nationals on Thursday night, the Red Sox needed to create space on both their major-league and 40-man rosters.

They did so by designating reliever Brandon Workman for assignment.

Workman, who turns 33 next month, sees his second stint with the Red Sox come to a potential end in rather disappointing fashion.

After signing a one-year, $1 million deal with the Cubs in February, Workman opened the 2021 season in Chicago’s bullpen, but got off to a dreadful start in which he posted a 6.75 ERA and 6.28 FIP over 10 relief appearances spanning eight innings of work before being designated for assignment in late April.

Ultimately released by the Cubs, Workman inked a minor-league pact to return to the Red Sox in early May before appearing in seven games with Triple-A Worcester.

In those nine outings, the veteran right-hander pitched to the tune of a miniscule 1.29 ERA over seven innings of work, which led to his contract being selected by Boston on June 3.

From that point, the struggles Workman endured in Chicago picked up once again in Boston, as he put up an unsightly 4.95 ERA, 2.04 WHIP, and .313 batting average against in 21 appearances and 28 innings pitched.

That includes his outing in Thursday’s 13-1 loss to the Blue Jays at Fenway Park in which he surrendered four runs on seven hits and one walk over two innings of mop-up duty. Four of the seven hits he allowed had exit velocities of 105 mph or higher.

The Red Sox originally selected Workman in the second round of the 2010 amateur draft out of the University of Texas. The Texas-born righty spent the first 11 years of his professional career and first 5 1/2 seasons of his major-league career with Boston — ultimately emerging as the club’s closer in 2019 and the early stages of 2020 prior to getting traded to the Phillies last August.

In exchange for both Workman and fellow reliever Heath Hembree, the Sox acquired right-handers Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold from the Phillies.

In the midst of his final season before hitting free agency, Workman struggled mightily with Philadelphia, as he produced a 6.92 ERA and 1.146 OPS against while blowing three of a possible eight save opportunities over the latter half of the pandemic-shortened campaigned.

With that dreary performance as a member of the Phillies in mind, it goes without saying that Workman hit free agency at the wrong time, as he has bounced around since then and could be on the verge of playing for his third team this season alone.

On that note, the Red Sox will have between now and Friday’s trade deadline to trade Workman to another club. If the 6-foot-5 hurler is not traded and instead clears waivers (seems likey), he would then have the right to elect free agency if he so chose.

(Picture of Brandon Workman: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)