Red Sox and Yankees Complete Rare Trade for Ottavino


In a shocking move, the New York Yankees traded reliever Adam Ottavino to the Boston Red Sox. This news was especially surprising considering that the historic rivals had not completed a trade since a 2014 deal involving Stephen Drew and Kelly Johnson. With Boston not sending any meaningful players back to New York, this trade serves primarily as a salary dump for the Yankees. The Red Sox are essentially buying Ottavino and a longshot prospect for nine million dollars, and the Yankees now have around $11 million to spend on other free agents.

This trade comes as part of a series of moves for the Red Sox over the past week, including the signings of Kiké Hernandez and Garrett Richards. After acquiring a utility man and another starting pitcher, the bullpen remained a huge need for Boston, which this trade addresses. With Matt Barnes likely filling the closer role for the Red Sox, Ottavino will slot in as the eight-inning man, allowing arms like Ryan Brasier, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Phillips Valdez a lightened load.

It will still be difficult for Boston to compete in a loaded AL East. The Rays are the defending American League Champions. Recently in the offseason, the Yankees added starter Jameson Taillon from the Pirates to go along with newly acquired Corey Kluber. As for the Blue Jays, the recent signing of outfielder George Springer places them in contention as well. However, trading for Ottavino is definitely a step in the right direction for the Red Sox and gives the team an instant improvement.

Boston now has to make a few more moves before the start of the season. With just about five million available to stay under the luxury tax, it will be difficult to sign more expensive free agents like Jackie Bradley Jr. without any more trades first. Additionally, the Red Sox need to free up three more roster spots to have space for the new acquisitions. One of these moves is likely to be a resolution between the team and Sox legend Dustin Pedroia, who is expected to retire this offseason.

As for the Yankees, they will use this money to continue spending in free agency. Before this trade, the Yankees were in a tough situation with only about two million to spend. Now, they have almost $11 million which will likely be used to resign Brett Gardner and bullpen free agents to replace Ottavino. Already, the Yankees have used some of this money to sign free agent pitcher Darren O’Day. The trade in theory does make for New York, but the big question is why the Yankees chose to trade Ottavino to the Red Sox. Now, the Yankees can be involved in new MLB breaking news with freed up money. Still, there is something off-putting about a salary dump involving a valuable reliever with the Boston Red Sox. With a few months until Spring Training, the Yankees are situated to make more moves, while the Red Sox have gained a much-needed bullpen arm.