According to multiple sources, the Boston Red Sox have traded closer Franklin Morales and right-handed Chris Martin to the Colorado Rockies and in exchange the Red Sox acquired Jonathan Herrera.
Herrera is a switch hitter and will ultimately cover up weaknesses if and when the Red Sox lose Stephen Drew. This also gives them a little bit of cushion if they want to trade Middlebrooks as Herrera has played both shortstop and third base.
Ultimately the Red Sox want to hand the keys to the car to the young Xander Bogaerts at the shortstop position so I think the acquisition protects the Red Sox in more than one way as it pertains to both Drew and Middlebrooks.
The Red Sox may decide to give Middlebrooks more time in AAA, or maybe they are looking to deal him. Middlebrooks has value in the league as he’s only 25 years old and has a huge upside. Fans looking at him here saw someone who made a few bad plays in the playoffs, but realistically, he hit .325 in his first year in the league and he has some power with 32 homeruns in virtually one season’s worth of games (169).
Morales has dealt with neck, back and shoulder issues since becoming a member of the Red Sox and those are bad places to have injuries when you’re a pitcher. I think the Red Sox feel they gave Morales ample opportunity to show them something and he never did.
Morales has never played more than 50 games in a single season and fell all the way to 20 games last season. He’s also a year away from free agency so why not get something for him.
Herrera played in 81 games for the Rockies last season where he hit .292 and had an on-base percentage of .336. he has limited power and may end up being just a backup to Bogaerts, Middlebrooks, Drew (if he resigns) or even Dustin Pedroia.
The 27 year old Martin spent his entire season between AA and AAA and both he and Morales are expendable in the Red Sox eyes. With how Breslow pitched in the post season and with Andrew Miller returning from foot surgery and with the young Drake Britton getting some major league experience, the Red Sox felt they had no need for them.