July 9, 2016 at 8:03 AM
The Red Sox announced early Saturday morning that they have traded second baseman Luis Alejandro Basabe (pictured) and right-handed pitcher Jose Almonte to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for right-handed relief pitcher Brad Ziegler. With this move, the Red Sox add an impact arm to their bullpen in exchange for a pair of Low A players including one top 20 prospect in the SoxProspects.com rankings.
Basabe, who currently ranks 18th on the SoxProspects.com rankings and was poised to move to the cusp of the top 10 in a rankings update coming after Friday's draft signing deadline, has enjoyed a breakout season with Greenville this year. Playing alongside his twin brother Luis Alexander, who is currently 11th in the SoxProspects.com rankings, he has slashed an impressive .310/.412/.467 with 14 stolen bases and earned a trip to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. Although hampered in the past two seasons by injuries, mostly due from getting hit on the wrist in the same spot by multiple pitches, he has stayed healthy this season and his game has benefitted as a result.
Almonte is currently unranked by SoxProspects.com, but the 20-year-old has pitched well for Greenville this season since joining the team on May 16. Through 53 innings, he has a 3.91 ERA with 45 strikeouts and 13 walks. He is currently a starter and has pitched well since signing with the Red Sox in 2012 but projects as a reliever in the long run.
For full scouting reports on both players, be sure to check out Ian Cundall's Trade Analysis here on the News Page.
In Ziegler, the Red Sox add a right-handed reliever with a history of success throughout his nine-year career. Ziegler started with his career with the Oakland Athletics but has played for Arizona since 2011 and is the owner of a career 2.49 ERA. In 38 1/3 innings with the Diamondbacks this season, he has pitched to a 2.82 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9, though his real bread and butter is inducing groundballs, which he has done at a 63% rate this season. Ziegler gives the Red Sox a late-inning reliever and could be especially important with closer Craig Kimbrel dealing with knee soreness.
Photo Credit: Luis Alejandro Basabe by Kelly O'Connor