November 13, 2015 at 9:08 PM
The Red Sox have announced that they have traded for Padres closer Craig Kimbrel. Boston will send Manuel Margot (pictured), Javier Guerra, Logan Allen, and Carlos Asuaje to San Diego in return.
Margot had a strong 2015 season that began in Salem and ended in Portland. The SoxProspects.com fourth-ranked prospect hit .282/.321/.420 in 46 games for Salem and .271/.326/.419 in 64 games with Portland. Some speculated that Margot would be involved in some type of deal this winter, as the Red Sox have plenty of young talent in the outfield, especially in the big leagues, but now do look thin at the position in the upper minors. Margot just turned 21 this past September and signed with Boston as an international free agent in July of 2011. He was working his way up that ladder in the Red Sox system and is currently playing in the Dominican Winter League. His speed and power combination make for an intriguing prospect that many believe will become an impact outfielder in the future, though he does not project to have an elite-level ceiling.
Guerra is ranked sixth here at SoxProspects.com after a breakout year at the plate led to a rise of ten spots from the beginning of the season. After hitting just two home runs in 2013 and 2014 combined, Guerra belted 15 for Greenville this year to go along with a .279 batting average and a .329 on-base percentage. Guerra signed as an international free agent in 2012 and turned 20 in September. His offense breakout made him rise into the top ten because his defense at shortstop was always stellar. He projects to be a top-level defender with a cannon for an arm.
Allen was not around for long, as Boston selected the left-handed pitcher in the eighth round of the 2015 draft out of IMG Academy (FL). Right away, Allen showed maturity and control on the mound, striking out 26 batters while walking just one in his time with the GCL Red Sox and Lowell. He posted a 0.90 ERA in 20 innings for the GCL Sox and a 2.08 ERA in five innings with Lowell.
The Red Sox acquired Asuaje in the 11th round of the 2013 draft out of Nova Southeastern. He posted huge offensive numbers in 2014, with a .933 OPS in 90 games with Greenville and a .914 OPS in 39 games with Salem. Asuaje just turned 24 and is coming off a year that saw him bat .251/.334/.374 in 131 games for Portland. Asuaje is a smaller player with the ability to play multiple spots on the infield. He projects as a utility player in the future.
Kimbrel will immediately improve a significant weak spot last season in the backend of Boston's bullpen, pushing Koji Uehara to a setup role. Kimbrel is 27-years old and a four-time all-star. He has a career 1.63 ERA and 563 strikeouts in just 348 1/3 innings.
Photo Credit: Manuel Margot by Kelly O'Connor