Ottavino knew the Yankees could trade him, but he didn’t expect the Red Sox

Mar 10, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) walks off the mound during the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino knew the chances he was traded before the start of the season were high. After all, the New York Yankees needed to free up some payroll to have more financial flexibility and bring a reliever or two plus a lefty bat while staying under the luxury tax threshold. He isn’t a bad reliever, but his time in the Bronx was filled with inconsistency, and he was expensive, at $9 million for 2021.

But while he expected a transaction, he did not see it coming involving the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees’ archrival.

On Monday, the Yankees sent Ottavino, pitching prospect Frank German, and $850,000 to the Red Sox in exchange for a player to be names later or cash considerations. The transaction freed up nearly $9 million for the Bombers, as they look to finish off their roster with the aforementioned positions.

“I feel like I’m gonna end up a trivia question now probably one day,” Ottavino told reporters Monday, per NESN. “When Cashman told me Red Sox, that was not the name I expected. I knew I could be traded, but I definitely didn’t expect that. So it’s kind of fun to be a part of something a little out of the ordinary.”

The first Yankees-Red Sox swap since 2014

The trade marked the first time Boston and the Yankees do business since the 2014 swap between Kelly Johnson and Stephen Drew.

“I’m very excited,” Ottavino said, per MLB.com. “I was a little surprised (Monday) when I got the news, but all things considered, Boston is always a place I wanted to play. I went to school there, feel really comfortable in Fenway and all that good stuff. I’m really excited to bring what I bring. Hopefully I can do my thing out of the bullpen and help us win some ballgames.”

Despite the fact that Ottavino had a 5.89 ERA in his last season with the Yankees, he can still be an impact reliever. His FIP was a much more manageable 3.52, and he had a sub-2.00 ERA as recently as 2019.

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