The Boston Red Sox have begun the process of improving their bullpen. According to reports from Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich, the Red Sox have acquired relief pitcher Colten Brewer from the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor-league infielder Esteban Quiroz.
Along with Brewer, Rosenthal reports that the Padres are also exploring the idea of trading righty Rowan Wick, as San Diego organizes their roster ahead of a busy free agency.
Brewer will likely receive a spot on Boston’s 40-man roster, according to Chris Cotillo, who adds that minor-leaguers Michael Chavis, Travis Lakins, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Josh Ockimey are also likely candidates to earn a promotion to the 40-man roster.
Brewer made his major league debut this past season as a 25-year old, and finished the year with eleven major league appearances under his belt. Through 9.2 innings, Brewer recorded a 5.59 ERA, allowing 10 runs on 15 hits. He didn’t surrender any home runs, but he did walk seven batters and strike out ten.
Brewer was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth round of the 2011 amateur draft, but later joined the New York Yankees following the 2016 Rule 5 draft. He became a free agent following the 2017 season, and that’s when he chose to join San Diego. Hopefully for the Red Sox, Brewer can have an important role in the bullpen, which was clearly the team’s weakest piece. The Boston ‘pen loses star closer Craig Kimbrel to free agency this offseason, and the team does not expect him to return to Massachusetts. With the Red Sox planning on using some of their 2018 set-up pitchers as their 2019 closers, Brewer could see more attention in the seventh-, eighth-, or ninth-innings of future games.
Meanwhile, minor-league second baseman Esteban Quiroz is heading to San Diego, where he will start the 2019 season in Double- or Triple-A. Quiroz struggled with an injury during the 2018 season, but when he did play, he posted solid stats, slashing .283/.406/.547 over 32 games. This past season was Quiroz’s first with a major league baseball organization after the Red Sox selected his contract from the Leones de Yucatan of the Mexican League on November 21, 2017. He had been signed as a young player with the potential to become a major-leaguer, but his trek to the majors this past season didn’t advance beyond the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs, sending Quiroz down to the Gulf Coast League to rehab.
Today’s trade is the first between the Red Sox and Padres since July 14, 2016, when Boston acquired Drew Pomeranz in exchange for minor-leaguer Anderson Espinoza.
With the Red Sox in a win-now situation following their victory in the World Series and the Padres choosing to develop some of their younger players into stars of the future, this trade makes perfect sense. Boston gets a relief pitcher who can help them next season, while San Diego adds a depth second baseman to their arsenal who could potentially see major league action in the next few seasons if he can stay healthy.