The Red Sox have acquired right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino and right-handed pitching prospect Frank German from the New York Yankees, according to The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler and the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.
This deal marks the first time the division rivals have made a trade with one another since 2014.
Source: The Yankees have traded Adam Ottavino to the Red Sox.— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) January 25, 2021
Ottavino, 35, is entering the final year of the three-year, $27 million contract he signed with the Yankees in January 2019.
The Brooklyn native is slated to earn $8 million in 2021, but for luxury tax purposes, his salary is essentially $9 million.
Adding on to that, Ottavino’s deal with New York includes a deferred $3 million signing bonus that that will be paid out in 2022, so the Red Sox will be on the hook for $11 million when it comes to the right-hander’s salary minus the $850,000 being covered by the Yankees, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
Clarification: Ottavino was still owed $9 million by the Yankees. New York is sending $850K to Boston, which will be on the hook for the remainder. https://t.co/Ct3apQNscb— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 25, 2021
For a trade involving only two players, the terms are quite confusing. So, for clarity’s sake, here’s the full deal, courtesy of MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo:
Full trade, per @Feinsand:— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 25, 2021
Red Sox get Adam Ottavino, Frank German and $850k from the Yankees for a player to be named later or cash.
As previously mentioned, Ottavino is slated to become a free agent at the end of the 2021 season.
The former first-round draft pick is coming off a 2020 campaign with New York in which he posted a 5.89 ERA but a much more respectable 3.52 FIP over 24 appearances and 18 1/3 innings pitched out of the Yankees bullpen.
Half of the 12 earned runs Ottavino surrendered last year came in a six-run blow-up against the Blue Jays on September 7 in which he failed to record a single out. If you take that one outing away, Ottavino’s ERA on the season drops to 2.98.
I don't know how good Adam Ottavino will be in 2021, but I do know I'm not for a second worrying about his 5.89 ERA.— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) January 25, 2021
That's 12 runs in 18.1 innings. But literally 50% of them came in one awful game in Buffalo — 6 ER in 0.0 IP — and without that, his ERA is 2.98.
An alumnus of Northeastern University in Boston, Ottavino was once interested in joining the Red Sox as a free-agent going into the 2019 season. They, however, were not interested in allocating significant financial recourses to a singular reliever at that time.
“I think initially, I did expect [Boston] to be in on relief pitching prior to the offseason,” Ottavino said in March 2019. “Once it got going and you just saw their level of involvement, then I kind of felt like they were not trying to spend any money and stay where they were financially. As it kept going, I just started realizing that was more the case.”
Ottavino, after signing a three-year deal with New York that January, would go on to have a superb debut season with the Yankees, putting up a miniscule 1.90 ERA over 73 appearances spanning 66 1/3 innings of work.
Working primarily with a slider, a sinker, cutter, changeup, and four-seam fastball, Ottavino will look to regain that old form with his new club and figures to be used in late-inning situations alongside the likes of Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Josh Taylor.
As for the other player the Red Sox acquired in this deal, German was originally selected by New York in the fourth round of the 2018 amateur draft out of the University of North Florida.
The 23-year-old right-hander was regarded by MLB Pipeline as the Yanks’ No. 24 prospect.
Last time he saw any organized minor-league action, German — aside from two rehab stints in the Gulf Coast League — posted a 3.79 ERA and 3.56 xFIP in 16 appearances (15 starts) and 76 innings pitched with High-A Tampa in 2019.
German was not included in the Yankees’ 60-man player pool last season.
With the reported addition of Ottavino, the Red Sox now have four players (Ottavino, Enrique Hernandez, Garrett Richards, Martin Perez) who will need to be added to the club’s 40-man roster in the coming days.
As of this writing, Boston’s 40-man roster currently sits at 39 players, so chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. will have some work to do before any of the above acquisitions are made official. Make sure to stay tuned for that.