Red Sox Acquire Ian Kinsler To Fix Second Base Woes
Boston found its man on Monday night, acquiring veteran Ian Kinsler from the Angels in exchange for minor league relievers Ty Buttrey and Williams Jerez. The Red Sox also received cash in the deal to help cover some of Kinsler’s remaining salary for the season.
Kinsler’s acquisition also frees up Nunez and Holt to see time at third base. Rafael Devers is on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, and backup catcher Blake Swihart started at third base on Monday because the Red Sox had no other options.
The deal also reunites Kinsler and Pedroia as teammates. They played the middle infield together at Arizona State briefly in 2002, but Kinsler transferred to Missouri for the 2003 season after Pedroia replaced him as the Sun Devils' starting shortstop.
The Angels, meanwhile, get two relievers nearly ready for the majors who can help a pitching staff desperately short on healthy bodies.
RED SOX ACQUIRE:
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Kinsler is no longer the all-around force he once was, but he remains an elite defender at the keystone. He’s hit 13 home runs with a .710 OPS this season, unremarkable numbers but a marked upgrade over Red Sox second basemen, who have combined for seven home runs and a .676 OPS this year. Kinsler will be a free agent after this season.
Williams Jerez, LHP
Jerez was drafted as an outfielder in 2011 but converted to pitching in 2014 and has blossomed. The 6-foot-4 New Yorker went 2-1, 3.68 with 67 strikeouts and 24 walks in 51.1 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket this season, and is on the verge of his major league debut. Jerez comes at hitters with a 92-96 mph fastball out of a high, three-quarters slot and backs it up with a slider and changeup. He struggles with walks at times and his command needs work, but he projects as a much-needed middle reliever for the Angels' bullpen.
Ty Buttrey, RHP
Buttrey brings a big arm with a fastball that sits 94-98 mph and touches 100 mph. Riding that fastball, he went 1-1, 2.25 with 64 strikeouts and 14 walks in 44 innings at Triple-A Pawtucket this season. Evaluators consider his slider below average and his changeup a non-factor, preventing him from projecting for late relief. However, his fastball is enough for him to serve as an effective, low-leverage reliever in the middle innings, and he has the chance to grow into more if he can gain more consistency with his slider.