Red Sox acquire pitcher Colten Brewer from Padres
The Red Sox added to their bullpen depth with an intriguing righthander with upside, landing righthander Colten Brewer from the Padres in exchange for minor league second baseman Esteban Quiroz.
Brewer made his big league debut in 2018, pitching in 11 games for the Padres with a 5.59 ERA. But prior to that, the 26-year-old had a strong performance with Triple A El Paso, forging a 3.75 ERA with 11.8 strikeouts and 2.8 walks per nine innings while leaning heavily on his cutter to get swings and misses and lots of groundballs.
Brewer primarily uses a cutter that averages 93 miles per hour but has registered up to 95, and complements it with a curveball and occasional slider. The Sox believe he has untapped upside with some small tweaks to his delivery and pitch mix. The 2011 fourth-round selection, who has two minor league options remaining, immediately jumps into the mix as a depth option for the Red Sox bullpen.
Quiroz, 26, was traded almost exactly one year after the Red Sox acquired him out of the Mexican League. The second baseman missed most of 2018 with a sports hernia, but he showed the potential to hit for average with solid OBPs in 24 games in Double A and, more recently, the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .267/.462/.511.
In addition to Brewer, the Red Sox added corner infielder Michael Chavis, lefthander Darwinzon Hernandez, righthander Travis Lakins, lefty Josh Taylor, and righthander Denyi Reyes to the 40-man roster.
Chavis, a 2014 first-rounder, came back from a season-opening 80-game suspension for testing positive for a PED to have a strong performance in Double A Portland and earn a promotion to Triple A Pawtucket. He has the ceiling of an everyday corner infielder.
Hernandez has the most dominant stuff in the Red Sox system, a mid- to high-90s fastball, a potential wipeout slider, and solid curveball; he’s struggled to throw strikes, but overpowers opponents when he does.
Lakins moved to the bullpen in 2018, where he posted a 2.32 ERA with just over a strikeout per inning. He relied chiefly on a low- to mid-90s fastball and cutter/slider, but also has a curveball and changeup.
Taylor, acquired from Arizona for Deven Marrero during the season, showed a high-octane, swing-and-miss fastball in Double A and the Arizona Fall League.
Reyes, 22, is one of the most unusual prospects in the system, a pitcher with four pitches (fastball, curve, slider, change) that grade as average or below but whose command and advanced sequencing give him a chance to be a near-term starter in the big leagues even though he’s never pitched in the upper levels.
In a surprising decision, the Red Sox didn’t add first baseman/DH Josh Ockimey to the 40-man roster, thus leaving him exposed in next month’s Rule 5 draft. The Red Sox also outrighted righthander Austin Maddox, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, off the 40-man roster and gave William Cuevas his unconditional release so that the righthander can pursue a career in Korea. The team now has 39 players on its 40-man roster.
David Price was named American League Comeback Player of the Year. One year after elbow injuries limited him to 74⅔ innings and forced him to the bullpen down the stretch, Price went 16-7 with a 3.58 ERA in 176 regular-season innings, then finished the year with three overpowering starts in October, including the Red Sox’ World Series clincher.