Last night, after a thrilling extra inning game in which David Price looked like the David Price of old, Dave Dombrowski was able to complete a trade for All Star gold glover Ian Kinsler. Kinsler, 36, will be a free agent at the end of the season but provides excellent insurance as a sure-handed infielder that can also swing the bat a little bit. For the season, Kinsler is hitting .239 with 13 home runs and 32 RBI, but he has really started to turn it on as of late. According to Boston Sports Inf., since July 13, Kinsler has a slash line of .395/.480/.651/1.131 with two home runs, six RBI, and seven extra base hits.
In return for Kinsler, the Angels received minor league RHP Ty Buttrey and minor league LHP Williams Jerez. Furthermore, the two sides decided to split the remainder of Kinsler's contract, which will come out to roughly $1.83 million for each side. This could help the Red Sox in regard to staying under that $237 million luxury tax threshold, but we will see how that turns out. As always, these moves come down to the price. The Red Sox gave up two prospects that were not highly ranked in a very poor farm system, meaning they have a very outside shot of ever sniffing a major league roster.
Buttrey is a 25-year-old reliever that is currently lurking in Triple-A. He was ranked as the #19 prospect in the Red Sox system. For the 2018 season, he had a 2.25 ERA, and a 1.136 WHIP with an impressive 13.1 K/9, a 2.9 BB/9 and a 7.4 H/9. These are almost all career numbers, which means the Red Sox chose to sell high on a guy that they do not believe in. For his career, Buttrey has an ERA close to 4 and almost half the number of strikeouts per nine. Even lower on the rankings is Jerez. Previously ranked as the #23 prospect in the system, Jerez is a 26-year-old left handed reliever that is having a season that is pretty comparable to what he has done for his entire career. For the 2018 season, Jerez has a 3.86 ERA and a 1.383 WHIP with a 11.7 K/9, a 4.2 BB/9, and a 8.2 H/9. In short, the Red Sox gave up essentially nothing.
To me, this move signals a growing concern with the fearless little leader, Dustin Pedroia. In a whopping 11 at-bats this season, Pedroia is hitting .091 and does not look to be returning anytime soon from that lingering knee injury. The Red Sox have been pretty quiet on the status of Pedroia, but, at least in my opinion, this move tells me that they do not expect him to come back this season. There is a lot of concern, at least from me, that he will never come back, but that is another article for another day. Kinsler is a great defender at second base, just like Pedroia, has his moments offensively, like Pedroia, but can actually stay on the field to be a contributing member of a ball club.
Outside of the impact that this move has on Pedroia, it is also a move that can help this team immediately. With Rafael Devers going on the Disabled List with a hamstring issue, Eduardo Nunez can flip over to third base, where he is more comfortable, and Kinsler can play a much better second base from a defensive perspective. This also allows the Red Sox to not play Brock Holt as much, who can be exposed if he plays everyday.
All in all, I think this is a fantastic move for the Red Sox. They gave up essentially nothing for a player that still has a lot in the tank and can help this team towards their ultimate goal. It is clear that the Red Sox are making moves that will help them right now, which signals to me that they should still be in the market for a reliever. Unfortunately, Dombrowski said that he would not be surprised if the Red Sox do not make another move, which would be a huge mistake.
Check back in with BBS all day as we continue to give you coverage of the MLB Trade Deadline!