The Red Sox could seemingly populate an entire roster with young players they’ve traded away in the past two years for big league relievers such as Andrew Bailey (from the Athletics), Joel Hanrahan (from the Pirates) and Mark Melancon (from the Astros). Now, we can add another transaction to the mix following Boston’s deal with the White Sox to acquire 36-year-old lefty reliever Matt Thornton at the expense of left-field prospect Brandon Jacobs, a 2009 draft pick who just recently joined Double-A Portland.
Chicago included $750,000 in the deal to cover three-quarters of the $1 million buyout of Thornton’s option for 2014.
Season-ending injuries to closer Hanrahan and lefty set-up man Andrew Miller motivated the Red Sox to add the veteran Thornton to the bullpen mix.
|White Sox Acquire|
Brandon Jacobs, lf
Age: 22 Bats: R
Career Transactions: Selected by Red Sox in 10th round of 2009 draft; signed Aug. 11, 2009
Signed for $750,000 to buy him out of an Auburn football commitment, Jacobs offers righthanded power and plenty of it, though he’ll need to strike a better balance between that power and enhanced contact skills. He hit 17 homers as a 20-year-old at low Class A in 2011, though his strikeout rate has climbed to 26 percent of plate appearances in subsequent seasons, muting his extra-base hit output. Though he hit just .244 at high Class A Salem this season, Jacobs’ isolated power (.196) was virtually identical to his breakout season two years ago, and he’s continued to show a patient hitting approach. That patience and power will be his ticket to the big leagues because he’s a fringy runner who’s limited to left field. Jacobs will be eligible for this winter’s Rule 5 draft if the White Sox do not add him to the 40-man roster.
|Red Sox Acquire|
Matt Thornton, lhp
Remaining Commitment: Prorated portion of $5.5 million salary for 2013, then $1 million buyout for 2014.