The Red Sox and White Sox addressed each other’s bullpen needs with a two-reliever trade on Thursday. Boston, which didn’t have a lefty reliever, acquired one in Javier Lopez. Chicago, which needed another righty relief option, added David Riske.
Riske, 29, joined the Red Sox in the offseason Coco Crisp trade, but got buried behind several other righthanders in the Boston bullpen after spending six weeks on the disabled list with a strained lower back. He made just eight appearances for the Red Sox, going 0-1, 3.72. He relies more on deception, competitiveness and command than pure stuff. His repertoire consists of an 88-91 mph sinker, a slider and a splitter. With Dustin Hermanson and Cliff Politte on the disabled list, Riske could become Chicago’s top righthanded setup man for closer Bobby Jenks. Riske is making $1.8 million this season and will become eligible for free agency afterward. He has a lifetime record of 17-13, 3.55 with 16 saves in 295 appearances.
Lopez, 28, was briefly a member of the Red Sox organization after they selected him from the Diamondbacks in the major league Rule 5 draft at the 2002 Winter Meetings. Boston traded him to Colorado in March 2003 for minor league righthander Ryan Cameron, and he spent much of the next three seasons in the majors with the Rockies and Diamondbacks. Signed by the White Sox as a minor league free agent during the offseason, Lopez went 2-1, 0.55 with 12 saves in 26 games at Triple-A Charlotte this year. In 33 innings, he had a 26-5 strikeout-walk ratio while permitting a .235 opponent average and one homer. A sidearmer, he works with a mid-80s fastball, a slider and a changeup. If he spends much of the remainder of the season in the majors, he likely will be arbitration-eligible afterward. Lopez has a career 6-4, 6.09 record and three saves in 171 big league contests.