The Red Sox acquired a veteran piece for their bullpen at low cost Friday, adding righthander Burke Badenhop from the Brewers in exchange for 20-year-old lefthander Luis Ortega, who spent 2013 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.
Luis Ortega, lhp
Career Transactions: Signed as international free agent by Red Sox, July 2, 2011.
A 5-foot-10 lefty signed for $45,000 out of the Dominican Republic, Ortega completed his first season in the U.S. in 2013 after debuting in the Dominican Summer League in 2012. He’s short but has a strong, well-built frame, a quick arm and throws strikes with an 87-92 mph fastball. He doesn’t have a swing-and-miss secondary pitch, with a changeup that’s more advanced than his slurvy breaking ball, which could eventually morph into a true slider down the road. He’s a longshot guy who fits best as a reliever.
|Red Sox Acquire|
Burke Badenhop, rhp
Remaining Commitment: Third-year arbitration-eligible for 2014 ($1.55 million salary in 2013).
Badenhop has a consistent track record as an average middle reliever, having thrown between 62-72 innings each of the last five major league seasons. He consistently pitches with a below-average fastball (for a reliever) in the 88-91 mph range, but he throws a lot of strikes and leans heavily on his hard slider in the 78-81 mph range. He’ll also throw a changeup, though he uses it less than he used to. He’s one of the more consistent groundball pitchers in major league bullpens, with a career 55 percent groundball rate.