The Red Sox surrendered defensive wizard Jose Iglesias in the July 30 three-team trade in which they acquired Jake Peavy. While Boston certainly doesn’t regret acquiring Peavy (he’s gone 3-1, 3.18 in six starts), it has struggled to to replace Iglesias’ defensive excellence and versatility. Consequently, the Red Sox completed a minor trade with the Phillies, acquiring 38-year-old utilityman John McDonald for power-armed righthander Nefi Ogando, a 24-year-old at high Class A.
Nefi Ogando, rhp
Career Transactions: Signed as international free agent by Red Sox, June 14, 2010
The Red Sox no longer face a 40-man roster decision on Ogando, a Dominican righty who turned pro at age 21 and thus will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft in December, four years after signing. He can dial his fastball up to 97 mph but lacks a reliable breaking pitch and has poor control (career 4.3 BB/9) even when used exclusively as a reliever. Ogando throws a pretty good mid-80s changeup, though his command faded badly in the second half of the high Class A Carolina League season, as he went from a 27-8 K-BB ratio in the first half to 17-19 in the second.
|Red Sox Acquire|
John McDonald, ss
Remaining Commitment: Prorated portion of $1.5 million salary for 2013, then eligible for free agency.
McDonald joins his sixth big league team in the past three seasons, but with a batting line of .221/.268/.322 (59 OPS+) in 526 plate appearances it’s obviously not the 38-year-old’s bat they’re after. With today’s short benches, a player like McDonald has value in that he can start at shortstop, second base and third base—or enter the game at any of those positions at the drop of a hat. (That may be an important consideration for the Red Sox with young infielders Xander Bogaerts at shortstop and Will Middlebrooks at third.) Despite extremely limited playing time, McDonald ranks 12th since 2009 in Baseball-Reference fielding runs among players who have spent at least one-third of their games at shortstop.