The Red Sox solved a utility infielder issue with a minor deal Wednesday, sending lefthander Franklin Morales to the Colorado Rockies for switch-hitter Jonathan Herrera.
Herrera, 29, appeared in 81 games last season for Colorado and hit .292 with a ..336 OBP and a .701 OPS. He can play second, short, third, and has played the outfield.
Morales has been mostly a reliever for the Red Sox. He was acquired from the Rockies in 2011 but was limited to 20 appearances last season because of back and shoulder injuries.
Morales was turned into a starter by Sox manager Bobby Valentine in 2012 and the plan was for Morales to be a spot starter/bullpen piece, but injuries prevented that.
In three seasons with the Red Sox, Morales appeared in 93 games (10 starts) with a 6-7 record and a 3.90 ERA.
Morales cut his teeth in the Rockies organization. It appears he will work out of the Rockies bullpen for now.
The Red Sox have been looking for a reserve infielder who can hit lefthanded because their entire infield was righthanded when Stephen Drew was out of the lineup.
The Red Sox still appear to be interested in re-signing Drew to be their full-time shortstop, with Xander Bogaerts moving to third. If that doesn’t materialize, Bogaerts would play short and Will Middlebrooks will remain at third base.
PawSox hire Kevin Boles
The Red Sox finalized most of their minor league staff. As expected, Double-A Portland manager Kevin Boles was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket to replace Gary DiSarcina, who left to become the Angels’ third base coach.
Billy McMillon will take over at Portland, Carlos Febles takes over for McMillon at Single A Salem, and Darren Fenster will manage the Single A Greenville team that Febles managed the past two seasons.
The managerial position at Single-A Lowell still remains unfilled.
Remaining at Pawtucket are pitching coach Rich Sauveur (his seventh season) and hitting coach Dave Joppie. Bruce Crabbe, who managed Short-A Lowell last season, has joined the PawSox staff to work with Sauveur.