The San Diego Padres have acquired infielder Pedro Ciriaco from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for a player to be named later, according to a tweet from Peter Gammons. Ciriaco, 27, was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Monday to make room for Will Middlebrooks, who was reinstated from the disabled list.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Padres designated James Darnell for assignment. In 15 games for Triple-A Tucson this season, the 26-year old third baseman is hitting .246 with 10 RBI. In 25 games with the big league club over the last two seasons, Darnell has hit .226 with 2 HR and 8 RBI. The club has ten days to trade, release, waive, or outright Darnell.
The versatile Ciriaco will provide depth for the Padres in the absence of rookie second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who was placed on the disabled list with a right groin strain on Monday. He will join the big league club in Gyorko's absence and share playing time with Logan Forsythe and Alexi Amarista, while also providing a safety net in case shortstop Everth Cabrera is punished in the aftermath of the Biogenesis scandal.
Ciriaco, who spent more than five years in the Diamondbacks' system before being traded to the Pirates, broke into the majors with Pittsburgh in 2010 and was 3-for-6 in eight games that season. After appearing in 23 major league games for the Pirates in 2011, he signed with the Red Sox as a minor league free agent in January 2012 and impressed the team's brass enough in spring training to earn a mid-season call-up from Triple-A Pawtucket. In 76 games with the hapless Red Sox, Ciriaco played all four infield positions and hit .293 with 2 HR and 19 RBI.
Following his strong performance in 2012, Ciriaco was guaranteed a spot on the big league roster to start 2013, and has struggled in 28 games, hitting .216 with 1 HR and 4 RBI. Due to the strong performance of Jose Iglesias and return of Middlebrooks, Ciriaco was deemed expendable by the Red Sox and was designated for assignment.
Three teams showed interest in acquiring Ciriaco, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. While the return that the Red Sox are receiving is not yet known, it is likely a low-level prospect.