In a surprising turn of events, the New York Yankees traded reliever Adam Ottavino to the Boston Red Sox. The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler was the first to report that a transaction was in place.
Ottavino has one year left in the three-year pact he signed with the New York Yankees before the 2019 season.
It was the first trade between the Red Sox and Yankees since the teams swapped Stephen Drew and Kelly Johnson back in 2014.
The Yankees attached a prospect (pitcher Frank German) to get Boston to pay most of his salary in the 2021 season, thus giving the Bombers more flexibility as they look to improve the bullpen and add a left-handed bat before spring training begins.
As Joel Sherman of the New York Post pointed out, Ottavino is due $8M this year and counts $9M for luxury tax purposes. “Getting out of most of it gives the Yankees more maneuverability to try to go for more SP, another RP, LH bat or SS depth. Gave up prospect to get out of most of the $ and create flexibility,” he wrote via Twitter.
Ottavino’s stay with the Yankees was short
After a solid first season with the Yankees in 2019, in which he had a 1.90 ERA and a 3.44 FIP in 66.1 innings with a 11.94 K/9 mark, Ottavino struggled during the playoffs that year and wasn’t able to right the ship in 2020.
Last season, he had an ugly 5.89 ERA, but it wasn’t all bad. His FIP was a very manageable 3.52, and he still missed bats with his 12.27 K/9 mark.
Overall, we can say that Ottavino wasn’t as good for the Yankees as his 1.90 ERA in 2019 suggests, but he also wasn’t as bad as his 2020 ERA.
German is 23 and hasn’t pitched in the upper minors. Although he is far from the majors and may not profile as an ace, he is a legitimate prospect. In 76 2019 innings in Class A-Advanced, he had a 3.79 ERA and a 4.19 FIP with a 9.71 K/9 and a 4.14 BB/9.