Rockies acquire Franklin Morales from Red Sox

Jared Wickerham

The left-hander heads back to Colorado along with a minor leaguer in exchange for infielder Jonathan Herrera.

The Colorado Rockies have acquired left-handed reliever Franklin Morales and minor leaguer Chris Martin from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for infielder Jonathan Herrera, according to Ian Browne and Thomas Harding of MLB.com. The deal is expected to be announced by the teams shortly.

Morales, who turns 28 in January, heads back to Colorado, where he spent his first four major league seasons before being traded to the Red Sox in May 2011. He was 7-11 with a 4.83 ERA in that time with Colorado, appearing in 87 games as a reliever while making 15 starts. He posted better numbers with the Red Sox over the past three years, recording a 6-7 record and 3.90 ERA in 93 appearances.

The Red Sox have Andrew Miller and Craig Breslow as effective left-handers in the bullpen, so Morales was considered expendable. He fills the void in the Rockies' bullpen left open by the departure of Josh Outman, who was traded to the Indians for Drew Stubbs earlier in the day.

Martin, 27, was 5-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 42 relief appearances split between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013, and was ranked by SoxProspects.com as the organization's 41st best prospect before the deal. He is likely to head to Triple-A Colorado Springs to start next season, but could also see time in the Rockies' big-league bullpen.

Herrera, 29, fills the utility infielder void that the Red Sox have been trying to fill all offseason. He saw time at every infield position except first base in 2013, and will likely back up Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks. In 81 games with the Rockies in 2013, he hit .292 with 1 HR and 16 RBI, bringing his career average to .265 with 8 HR and 66 RBI in five major league seasons.

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