May 20, 2011

Red Sox Trade For Morales, DFA Okajima And Nava, Sign Millwood, Send Iglesias And Bowden To Pawtucket, Call Up Sutton, Activate Wheeler

The Red Sox have designated Hideki Ojakima for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for another lefty, the newly-acquired Franklin Morales.

Boston received Morales from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for either a PTBNL or $$ (the Sox have until November to decide what to do). Morales, 25, appeared in 14 games for the Rockies this year, pitching 14 innings and allowing 10 hits and eight walks, while striking out 11. He debuted with Colorado in 2007 (and pitched 2.1 innings in Game 3 of the World Series against Boston).

Opposing batters are hitting .204/.310/.429 against him this year (with a low .216 BABIP). He has been tough on left-handed batters over his career (.185/.291/.333), though he has faced far more righties overall. The Globe reported that the Rays were also trying to deal for Morales.

Theo Epstein:
Morales is gonna come in and be the second lefty in our bullpen [with Rich Hill]. He's somebody we think has some upside, throwing strikes consistently. He's a really hard thrower, a former top prospect. ... We needed a 40-man spot for him so Oki's going to be designated. We'll see if there's a fit for him with a trade somewhere. If not, we'll get him through waivers and he'll end up back at Pawtucket.
Throwing strikes consistently would be nice, but Morales has averaged 5.3 BB/9 over his 102-game career.

And the Denver Post reports that Morales has
battled command issues [this season], and was plagued by walks in late-innings. He seemed to constantly fight composure issues, having trouble calming down in important moments, defined by him wiping his forehead repeatedly.
Jose Iglesias and Michael Bowden have been optioned back to Pawtucket and infielder Drew Sutton will be recalled. Sutton, 27, had a fantastic spring with the Red Sox, playing in 28 games and hitting .317 and slugging .550. He has been a jack of all trades with Pawtucket, playing 12 games at 2B, nine at 3B, seven at SS, and two in LF, and batting .304/.385/.522.

Dan Wheeler was activated from the disabled list. ... Kevin Millwood has reportedly agreed to a minor league contract with the Red Sox. ... Daniel Nava was also designated for assignment.

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