December 17, 2014 at 1:38 PM
The Red Sox have announced an exchange of right-handed relievers with the Atlanta Braves. Boston will receive major league veteran Anthony Varvaro, with Aaron Kurcz (pictured) headed to Atlanta.
Kurcz, 24, originally came to the Red Sox organization in March 2012 as part of the compensation package from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Theo Epstein. He impressed in an assignment to Double-A Portland, striking out 72 in 50 1/3 innings. However, an elbow injury suffered in July of that year required Tommy John surgery, and an extended rehab kept Kurcz off the field throughout the 2013 campaign. He returned to Portland in 2014, and again pitched well, posting a 2.14 ERA an 52 strikeouts in 42 innings across 34 appearances.
Originally selected by the Cubs in the 10th round of the 2010 draft, Kurcz was Rule 5 draft-eligible for the first time this season. The Las Vegas native has been a reliever throughout his minor league career, with the exception of 12 starts with High A Dayton while in the Chicago system in 2011.
Varvaro, 30, had been designated for assignment by Atlanta on Monday. The St. John's University product had a 2.63 ERA in 54 2/3 innings out of the Braves bullpen, striking out 50 and walking only 13. He has a 3.18 ERA in 157 career appearances with Atlanta and Seattle, all out of the bullpen. Despite the strong season, he became a victim of the Braves' 40-man roster crunch.
Photo Credit: Aaron Kurcz by Kelly O'Connor