As an encore to their 2013 World Series title, the Boston Red Sox kicked off the 2014 offseason by acquiring…middle relief pitcher Burke Badenhop. Not exactly the most awe-inspiring move to start your title defense, now, is it?
The Red Sox shipped out a no-name minor leaguer (left-hander Luis Ortega — apologies if any of his relatives are reading) for no-name major leaguer Burke Badenhop, a right-handed reliever who pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers last year.
The 30-year-old Badenhop, entering his seventh season in the majors, made 63 appearances last season and finished with a 3.47 ERA, 42 strikeouts, and 12 walks in 62.1 innings. Those numbers are fine, of course — not outstanding, but decent — but it begs the question: did GM Ben Cherington and the Red Sox learn absolutely nothing from trading for unmitigated disasters and fellow NL Central relievers Mark Melancon and Joel Hanrahan? Continue reading Can New Red Sox Reliever Burke Badenhop Buck the Trend of NL Central Flops? »