Monday, January 25, 2021

MLB Trade Review: Red Sox acquire Ottavino

 


       The Boston Red Sox have acquired RHPs Adam Ottavino and Frank German, plus cash ($850k) from the New York Yankees in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

       It's the year of the Yankees being cheap. Their main goal isn't getting better, it is staying under the luxury tax. Ottavino was the one expendable player on the roster earning significant money. He is entering the last year of his three year, $27 million contract. Ottavino has nasty pitches, and three of the four that he uses had a whiff rate over 30 percent in 2019, a season where he posted a career best 1.90 ERA. Ottavino had a rough season in 2020, but his ERA was inflated by a six run outing versus Toronto where he didn't record an out. In both 2019 and 2020, Ottavino wasn't trustworthy in the playoffs, and you could really tell that he fell out of Aaron Boone's circle of trust last season. That is because of a 50% hard hit percentage and a 10.6 BB% that was somehow higher than his 2019 mark. The Yankees are probably clearing up money for another acquisition, but still, this makes their rival a better team and costs them their 24th best prospect. 

        I love this deal for the Red Sox. Ottavino was great in 2018 and 2019, and while he struggled last year, he still posted a .218 xBA with a 29.4 K%. They will take on most of the money here, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if Ottavino returns to form, and is traded again at the deadline, hence saving Boston some money. In that case, not only do they get Ottavino for a year maximum, they buy a prospect in German, who is not related to New York's Domingo German. He was previously ranked as the 24th best prospect in the Yankees system by MLB Pipeline. A 2018 4th rounder from Queens, German reached High-A in 2019, and spent most of the season there, posting good numbers in 15 starts and a relief appearance. He's a guy who could have moved up in the ranks in 2020 if there was a minor league season. 

         Ottavino, 35, had a 5.89 ERA with 25 strikeouts, a 1.582 WHIP and a 3.52 FIP in 18.1 innings for the Yankees in 2020. In his MLB career for the Yankees, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals, Ottavino has a 3.53 ERA with 19 saves, 577 strikeouts, a 1.312 WHIP and a 3.55 FIP in 497.2 innings. 

         German, 23, had a 4.11 ERA with 87 strikeouts and a 1.395 WHIP in 81 innings in the minor leagues in 2019. In his MiLB career, German has a 3.56 ERA with 128 strikeouts and a 1.266 WHIP in 111.1 innings. 

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