Boston — The Boston Red Sox acquired Ian Kinsler from the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night, replacing the injured Dustin Pedroia at second base even as the AL East leaders distance themselves from the New York Yankees – and the rest of baseball, too.
Boston will send Triple-A pitchers Ty Buttrey and Williams Jerez to Los Angeles, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said in the Red Sox clubhouse after they beat Philadelphia 2-1 in 13 innings. The Angels and Red Sox will split the remaining $3,666,667 on Kinsler’s $11 million contract that expires at the end of the season.
“He’s the closest teammate that I’ve ever had to Dustin Pedroia,” said Red Sox left-hander David Price, who was Kinsler’s teammate with the Tigers when Dombrowski also traded for him there. “He brings that intensity, that fire every single day. He’s a gamer. He’ll make any team better. I’m very happy we got him.”
Kinsler is the third recent acquisition for the Red Sox as Tuesday’s trading deadline approaches. Dombrowski also brought in Steve Pearce a month ago and last week acquired starter Nathan Eovaldi, who earned a victory Sunday in his first start for Boston.
With the win, the Red Sox improved to 75-33 – the best record in baseball, and their best mark since Ted Williams’ team coasted to the AL pennant in 1946. Boston is a season-high six games ahead of the Yankees, who visit Fenway Park for a four-game series this weekend.
“I’m excited. I think we’re all excited,” Price said. “I don’t know how many games we’re in first place by, but when you’re playing the Yankees, it’s always exciting.”
Kinsler, 36, is batting .239 with 13 homers and 32 RBIs for the Angels this season. Dombrowski said he expects Kinsler to be the regular second baseman, moving Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez back into utility roles once third baseman Rafael Devers comes off the disabled list.
“Ian’s a really good defensive player,” Dombrowski said. “Basically, it’s what we hoped, early this season, that Dustin would be.”
Pedroia and Kinsler have been connected since their college days, when Pedroia took Kinsler’s starting job as shortstop at Arizona State in 2002. Kinsler transferred to Missouri the following year.
Pedroia has played just three games this year after left knee surgery in the offseason. Dombrowski says it’s likely he won’t be back until very late in the season, if at all.
Astros, Jays swap closers
Swapping a closer with on-field problems for one with off-field troubles, the World Series champion Houston Astros traded Ken Giles to the Toronto Blue Jays along with a pair of pitching prospects for Roberto Osuna on Monday.
Houston also sent right-handers David Paulino and Hector Perez to Toronto as part of the deal, a day before the deadline for trades without waivers.
The 23-year-old Osuna is eligible to pitch in the big leagues starting Sunday after a 75-game suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. He has made six scoreless one-inning appearances in the minors since July 14, the last three at Triple-A.
Osuna has not pitched in the majors since May 6, two days before he was put on administrative leave when he was charged with one count of assault in Toronto — which remains pending.
Astros players Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers Jr. voiced disdain for domestic abusers in March when video leaked of former Astros prospect Danry Vasquez beating his girlfriend. Vasquez was released by Houston following an arrest for the incident in 2016. KRIS-TV in Houston obtained and aired the video, which showed Vasquez, still partly in uniform, hitting his girlfriend in a stairwell at Double-A Corpus Christi’s stadium.
“(Middle finger emoji) you man,” Verlander tweeted. “I hope the rest of your life without baseball is horrible. You deserve all that is coming your way!”
“This is the reality of domestic violence,” McCullers wrote. “It’s always brutal, always sickening. We must fight for the victims, video or not. He should be in jail. If you need help, find it. People care.”
Osuna is 0-0 with nine saves in 10 chances and a 2.93 ERA in 15 games this season. He was an All-Star last year, when he went 3-4 with 39 saves and a 3.38 ERA.
The right-hander would be eligible to pitch in the postseason, unlike players suspended under the drug policy this year, such as Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano, who is ineligible.
Osuna lost 89 days’ pay, which comes to $2,536,022 of his $5.3 million salary, and the suspension delayed his eligibility for free agency by one year until after the 2021 season.
“The due diligence by our front office was unprecedented. We are confident that Osuna is remorseful, has willfully complied with all consequences related to his past behavior, has proactively engaged in counseling, and will fully comply with our zero tolerance policy related to abuse of any kind,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said.
In a statement released by the Astros, Osuna said: “I thank Jeff Luhnow and the entire Astros organization for believing in me. I will not let them down.”
The 27-year-old Giles is 0-2 with 12 saves and a 4.99 ERA this season, and was currently in the minors.
Giles punched himself in the face this season while heading to the dugout after giving up a three-run, ninth-inning homer to the Yankees’ Gary Sanchez on May 1. He was optioned to Triple-A Fresno on July 11, a night after the hard-throwing righty appeared to curse at manager A.J. Hinch when he lifted him from the game.
The 27-year-old Giles had 34 saves in 38 chances with a 2.30 ERA and 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings for the Astros last season. Houston won its first World Series title, but he struggled in the postseason. He allowed two runs in three innings against Boston in the AL Division Series. He surrendered three more runs, taking the loss in Game 4 of the League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, and allowed five runs in a pair of World Series appearances against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Giles entered Game 4 in the ninth with the game tied at 1 and allowed all three batters he faced to reach base. Giles took the loss and did not appear again in the series.
Giles has a $4.6 million salary and is eligible for free agency after the 2020 season.
The 24-year-old Paulino is 2-1 with a 6.25 ERA in nine games with the Astros this year and has a 4.67 ERA in seven games for Triple-A Fresno and the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Astros.
The 22-year-old Perez is 3-4 with two saves and a 3.73 ERA in 21 games at Class A Buies Creek and Double-A Corpus Christi.
Pirates land closer Keon Kela
The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired hard-throwing closer Keone Kela from the Texas Rangers for minor league starter Taylor Hearn and a player to be named.
The 25-year-old Kela has 24 saves and a 3.44 ERA this season. He will be arbitration eligible beginning next season and will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season.
Hearn is 3-6 with a 3.12 ERA in 19 starts at Double-A Altoona this year. The 23-year-old left-hander is a graduate of Royse City High School, located about 50 miles west of Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Braves add OF Duvall
The Atlanta Braves have acquired outfielder Adam Duvall from the Cincinnati Reds to bolster their lineup for a postseason push.
The Braves sent right-handers Lucas Sims and Matt Wisler and outfielder Preston Tucker to Cincinnati. All three spent time in Atlanta this season but were with Triple-A Gwinnett at the time of the trade.
The trade was announced following the Braves’ 5-3 win over Miami on Monday night.
The 29-year-old Duvall has hit 15 home runs with 61 RBIs but is hitting only .205 this season.
Duvall hit 64 homers over the previous two seasons, including 31 in 2017. He was an NL All-Star in 2016.
Duvall was also a finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in each of the last two seasons.
Mariners make moves
The Seattle Mariners added to their bullpen by acquiring left-handed reliever Zach Duke from the Minnesota Twins for a pair of minor leaguers.
Seattle made a second move in a matter of days to bolster its relief corps. Seattle sent pitcher Chase De Jong and infielder Ryan Costello to the Twins on Monday, less than 24 hours before the non-waiver trade deadline.
Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto said recently he was hoping to add another righty to the bullpen and pick up a left-handed reliever as well. He accomplished both by acquiring Sam Tuivailala from St. Louis late last week and then landing Duke. The Mariners are in the middle of the AL West and wild-card races.
The 35-year-old Duke is 3-4 with a 3.62 ERA in 45 appearances for the Twins. He has limited left-handed batters to a .237 average this season.
Minnesota made its third trade in three days. The Twins sent infielder Eduardo Escobar to Arizona and dealt reliever Ryan Pressly to Houston.
The 24-year-old De Jong started 21 games for Double-A Arkansas, going 5-5 with a 3.80 ERA. The 22-year-old Costello hit .266 with 70 RBIs for Class A Clinton.
The Mariners also acquired right-hander Adam Warren from the New York Yankees for $1.25 million in international signing bonus pool allotment.
In addition to trading Duke to the Mariners, the Twins dealt starting pitcher Lance Lynn to the New York Yankees for first baseman/outfielder Tyler Austin, right-handed pitcher Luis Rijo and cash.