No Trade Talks Involving Red Sox Were ‘Imminent’ at Time MLB Froze Rosters in March, per Report

The Red Sox were not close to making any sort of trade at the time Major League Baseball froze rosters, and roster moves, in late March, a source told WEEI’s Rob Bradford earlier Friday.

This report comes decently close to two months after MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made the decision to suspend the remainder of spring training games on March 12, effectively butting baseball on hold.

Still. clubs were allowed to make moves for about two weeks after that. The Red Sox signed free-agent infielder Yairo Munoz to a minor-league deal on March 24th, for instance.

It wasn’t until March 28th when rosters were frozen as part of an agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLBPA. No transactions have been made since.

Before that freeze went into effect though, as Bradford notes, the Sox were involved in trade rumors ‘almost daily,’ particularly with the San Diego Padres and 29-year-old outfielder Wil Myers.

Going back to a February 18th report from the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee, the Friars were apparently looking to offload ‘about half’ of the remaining $61 million owed to Myers over the next three years, while the Sox were in return looking for young, controllable talent, such as pitching prospect Cal Quantrill or catching prospect Luis Campusano. Basically, in this scenario, Boston would be “buying prospects” by taking on a “bad” contract.

Despite those ever-swirling rumors, no trade talks between Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and the Padres, or other clubs for that matter, ever reached the “imminent” stage at the time the roster freeze went into effect, per Bradford.

Although there is no set date for baseball to return, roster movement between clubs will once again be permitted once a new Opening Day for this year is scheduled, if there is one, that is.

 

 

Red Sox Have ‘Expressed Interest’ in Padres Catching Prospect Luis Campusano in Mookie Betts Trade Talks, per Report

In discussions with the San Diego Padres revolving around the idea of trading star outfielder Mookie Betts, the Red Sox have reportedly ‘expressed interest’ in acquiring Padres catching prospect Luis Campusano in any potential deal, per The Athletic’s Dennis Lin.

Campusano, who turned 21 last September, was listed as the fifth-best prospect in San Diego’s farm system and the seventh-best catching prospect in baseball at the end of the 2019 season, according to MLB.com.

The former 2017 second-round pick out of Cross Creek High School in Georgia put together an impressive campaign in his second full professional season last year, slashing .325/.396/.509 with 15 home runs and 81 RBI over 110 games played for the High-A Lake Elsinore Storm. He was named co-MVP of the California League for his efforts back in August.

In the Arizona Fall League, Campusano, along with other Padres prospects, played for the Peoria Javelinas, the same team the Red Sox were affiliated with.

In an organization that is full of quality prospects, Campusano might not garner the same attention that others such as MacKensie Gore or Luis Patino do, but he is an exciting player nonetheless.

“He’s really special,” Lake Elsinore hitting coach Doug Banks said of Campusano in an interview with Baseball America last June. “He does some special things. There’s things he can do because he’s just so talented. For him to do what he’s doing at his position, catching, being as young as he is, it really is incredible.”

Any deal that involves Betts heading to San Diego would most likely involve the Red Sox getting multiple pieces, prospects and major-league players alike, in return, such as 29-year-old outfielder Wil Myers, who is owed $61 million over the next three seasons.

Because Betts is set to become a free agent for the first time next winter, it is safe to say that Padres general manager AJ Preller would be unwilling to move a prized prospect like Gore for what could turn out to be just a one-year rental.

That’s where players like Campusano come in. The 79th-ranked prospect on Baseball America’s Top 100 list would easily become one of the three best prospects in the Sox’ system.

San Diego may value the young backstop highly, but with veteran catcher Austin Hedges and former top catching prospect Francisco Mejia already on the active roster, Campusano could be expandable. Especially for a player of Betts’ caliber.

On Thursday, Lin reported that an agreement between the Red Sox and Padres was viewed as ‘unlikely’ so there is still a possibility that nothing comes from all this speculation. We’ll have to wait and see on that.

 

Ian Kinsler Reportedly Agrees to Two-Year Deal with San Diego Padres.

On Friday, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the San Diego Padres had agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal with free agent second baseman and 2018 World Series Champion Ian Kinsler.

Acquired via trade by the Red Sox from the Los Angeles Angels in late July, the 36-year-old infielder slashed .242/.294/.311 to go along with one home run and 16 RBI over a span of 37 games with Boston.

Regularly manning second base with Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day disabled list, Kinsler provided the Red Sox with stable defense on the right side of the infield en route to picking up his second career Gold Glove Award.

October was certainly not a month to remember in terms of numbers for the Arizona native, but he still contributed with his glove and got himself a shiny World Series ring.

From the perspective of the Red Sox, it was not expected that Kinsler’s services were going to be retained.

Essentially, Dustin Pedroia is Plan A at second base for 2019, and if he’s not able to stay healthy over the course of a full regular season, then you have players such as Brock Holt, Tzu-Wei Lin, and the expected return of Marco Hernandez in the mix to man second base when necessary.

 

 

#RedSox Acquire RHP Colten Brewer from San Diego Padres.

In a slew of several roster moves, the Red Sox announced on Tuesday evening that they had officially acquired right-handed reliever Colten Brewer from the San Diego Padres in exchange for infield prospect Esteban Quiroz.

Reported earlier in the day, this transaction provides Dave Dombrowski with another fascinating addition to his bullpen.

At the age of 26, Brewer just broke in with the Padres this year after spending different parts of six seasons with three different organizations, where he posted a 5.59 ERA and .357 BAA over 11 relief appearances and 9.2 innings pitched.

A former fourth round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011, Brewer, per Statcast, relies on four different pitches, his cutter, his curveball, his four-seam fastball, and his slider.

Brewer

Procuring a swing rate of 36.6% in 2018, Brewer, a native of Dallas, Texas, will look to provide his new club with a different kind of look out of the bullpen in 2019.

On the other side of this deal, the Red Sox parted ways with minor league infielder Esteban Quiroz.

Ranked as Boston’s 28th best prospect over at SoxProspects.com, Quiorz initially joined the organization as an international free agent from Mexico last November.

In his age 26 and first minor league season in the states, Quiroz slashed .283/.406/.547 to go along with seven home runs and 31 RBI over a span of 32 games between the Gulf Coast League Red Sox and Double A Portland Sea Dogs.

The trade was made official at approximately 4:47 PM ET.

That, along with the roster moves I previously mentioned, puts the Red Sox 40-man roster at 39.

I will have more on the other moves later.