The Red Sox have acquired left-hander Drew Pomeranz from San Diego in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza, according to multiple sources. The trade is said to be a straight one-for-one swap and is pending physical reviews.
Pomeranz, 27, was awarded with the first All-Star selection of his career as he went 8-7 with a 2.47 ERA across 102 innings in the first half of the season. His strikeout per nine rate (10.1) and WHIP (1.06) were the best of his six-year major league career.
Despite only being drafted in 2010, Boston will become the fifth organization that Pomeranz has pitched for. He began his career as the fifth overall pick back in 2010 by the Indians, but has since spent some time with the Rockies, Athletics and Padres.
Pomeranz only donned a San Diego uniform for half a season having been traded by Oakland for Marc Rzepcynski and Yonder Alonso during the winter.
2016 was the first year that Pomeranz created any sort of value for himself having previously been seen by many as an average starter. Last year he was utilised as a swingman by Oakland, even picking up three saves in the process. His career 3.95 ERA as a starter isn’t going to scare anyone but he has held opposing hitters to a reasonable .233 batting average in that role.
The lefty figures to be used at the back end of Boston’s rotation, who currently have David Price and All-Star Steven Wright as their headline acts. He adds some necessary depth to their rotation and will be a very handy pitcher to have should the Red Sox find themselves going deep into October.
Boston’s starters rank 19th in Major League Baseball this year with a 4.72 ERA, with only Wright and Rick Porcello posting an ERA below 4.00.
Widely considered to be one of the best prospects in the game, 18-year-old Espinoza is playing just his second season of professional baseball after moving to the United States from Venezuela. In 17 starts with Class-A Greenville, Espinoza is 5-8 with a 4.38 ERA.
Don’t let those numbers deter you though; this is a very good young pitcher who last year held an 0.68 ERA across 40 innings with the Red Sox Gulf Coast League team.
From San Diego’s perspective, the trade of Pomeranz is a clear indication that the organization is continuing their rebuild which may also see Wil Myers and others dealt closer to the August 1 trade deadline. The fact they added an 18-year-old prospect suggests the Padres may be expecting a rebuild of quite some length.
While Padres GM A.J. Preller was criticised for trying to create a fantasy team of sorts a few years ago, he’s done an excellent job in capatalising on the value of both Kimbrel and Pomeranz, who have landed the organisation some pretty exciting young talent.
On the other hand, this is the second move completed by the Red Sox in the last week after they previously added infielder Aaron Hill from Milwaukee. It’s also the second time in nine months that San Diego and Boston have hooked up in a significant trade, with Craig Kimbrel going to the Red Sox in the offseason.
Boston’s roster now looks almost set for the rest of the year, though they may look to add a fourth outfielder with both Chris Young and Blake Swihart currently on the disabled list.