Late last night (around 2 AM), Dave Dombrowski completed a trade that sent Diamondbacks reliever Brad Ziegler to Boston in return for minor league prospects Jose Almonte and Luis Alejandro Basabe, according to multiple reports. To make room for Ziegler on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox transferred C/OF Blake Swihart to the 60-day disabled list.
This move has so many question marks surrounding it, so lets dive right into them. First, there is no doubt about it, this helps the bullpen a lot. With question marks surround Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, and Craig Kimbrel, a smaller move like this is exactly what Dave Dombrowski wanted to do before the Trade Deadline, especially after the season-ending Tommy John surgery for Carson Smith. This season, the 36-year-old sidearmer owns a 2.82 ERA, 6.3 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, and a 63% groundball rate, with just one home run allowed in 38 1/3 innings. In the past couple of seasons, Ziegler has been closing for the Diamondbacks, which brings us to our next point; how hurt really is Craig Kimbrel?
While the Diamondbacks have come out and said that this move has been in the works for days, the timing is too convenient. Yesterday, while shagging fly balls in the outfield, reportedly, Craig Kimbrel tweaked his knee/leg and was unable to pitch in last night's 6-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Kimbrel was dressed for last night's game, but he still took a MRI and we should know the results soon.
Finally, as I mentioned before, this also means we won't be seeing Blake Swihart any time soon. While he is out of the walking boot that he was previously in, and has begun hitting from both sides of the plate, it looks as if that ankle is still bothering him. Hopefully, the Red Sox (and the rest of the MLB) will be able to see Blake Swihart come back and play this season. It is vital to figure out if the Red Sox are going to keep Swihart and make him the catcher of the future, or trade him to another team that is enamored with the prospect of an above-average hitting catcher for a top of the rotation arm.
All in all, I love this move. Ziegler is older, but is a free agent at the end of this season, and can help the Red Sox win this season, regardless of the status of Craig Kimbrel and Junichi Tazawa.