SAN DIEGO — The Red Sox have started the process of rebuilding their rotation, agreeing with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a trade that would return lefthander Wade Miley.
The deal was not complete Wednesday night. But the Red Sox would receive Miley in exchange for righthanders Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, and a minor leaguer to be determined.
Miley has averaged just shy of 200 innings the last three seasons. That quality was important for the Red Sox given the inability of Clay Buchholz to stay healthy and because Joe Kelly has yet to pitch more than 124 innings in a season.
Miley had a 4.34 earned run average for a dreadful Arizona team last season. But he has been an above-average starter since 2012, posting a 3.74 ERA and averaging 7.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Red Sox would have control of Miley, 28, for three seasons, another important factor. This is the first season he is eligible for arbitration and is in line for a salary of roughly $4.3 million.
Miley is not a star. But an affordable mid-rotation starter who can pitch plenty of innings will serve the Red Sox well given their needs.
The Red Sox dipped into their vast collection of fringy major league pitchers to make the deal. De La Rosa was 4-10 with a 4.54 ERA in 30 games for the Sox, 18 of them starts. The 25-year-old pitched well at times last season but tired down the stretch and had a 7.16 ERA In his final seven starts. His ultimate role could be in relief.
Webster, who turns 25 in March, has long been lauded for the quality of his pitches. But that has not translated to the mound in the majors. He has a 6.25 ERA in 19 career appearances, 18 of them starts. Over 59 innings he has walked 28 and hit seven.
De La Rosa and Webster were among the five players the Red Sox received from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 for Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Nick Punto. None of the five remain in the organization.