The Boston Red Sox acquired right-handed pitcher Brad Ziegler from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for two minor leaguers, righty Jose Almonte and infielder Luis Alejandro Basabe, they announced Saturday.
The Red Sox have been active to begin the trade season. They acquired infielder Aaron Hill just days ago to bolster their infield, and now they get Ziegler to bolster their bullpen.
The 36-year-old Ziegler is 2-3 with a 2.82 ERA in 38 1/3 innings pitched this season, posting a 3.44 FIP and a 3.98 xFIP. As Diamondbacks' closer, Ziegler was 18-for-20 in save opportunities and 30 of 32 last year.
With the Red Sox, Ziegler will not be the closer. The team has Craig Kimbrel to handle that role. However, Kimbrel injured his knee before Friday's game, forcing him to not play in the All-Star Game next week. Perhaps, this led to an increased urgency to add relief help by the Red Sox's brass.
As a whole, the Red Sox's bullpen has been solid this season, ranking 10th in the Major Leagues (7th in the AL) in fWAR. Their 3.92 ERA (15th) is a bit more troubling but could be inflated. Their bullpen corps have the eighth-best FIP in MLB.
Ziegler is a free agent at the end of the season, and FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Diamondbacks displayed interest in re-signing him as a free agent this offseason. They reportedly told Ziegler upon announcement of the trade that they would have a desire to do so. He in the last year of a three-year, $15 million extension with the Diamondbacks in the 2013-14 offseason.
The Diamondbacks get two low-level prospects in return for Ziegler.
First, they acquired right-hander Jose Almonte. The 20-year-old Almonte, a Dominican Republic native, is pitching with full season Class A Greenville this season, having posted a 3.91 ERA and a 45 to 13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 53 innings pitched coming over 10 starts. Almonte was not listed amongst the Red Sox's top 30 prospects on MLB.com.
The other prospect that the Diamondbacks receive is 19-year-old Luis Alejandro Basabe, a Venezuelan native. Also at Class A Greenville, Basabe is hitting .310/.412/.467 with four home runs, 25 RBI and 14 stolen bases (20 attempts) in 275 plate appearances.