5-21-2011: Sox acquire Morales, sign Millwood

Sox trade a PTBNL for Franklin Morales

The pitching injuries are piling up again. With Dan Wheeler and Bobby Jenks out, the bullpen is a little thin. I was a little surprised to hear that Hideki Okajima was DFA’d, but you have to know that the Sox were dissatisfied with their lefty reliever situation this year, quickly discarding Denys Reyes. This move comes down to upgrading the bullpen. Morales was considered a pretty good prospect just two years ago, and is a lefty who throws a 94 mph heater and a good curve. His presence makes the deteriorating Okajima expendable (his three-year numbers are all trending in the wrong direction). Theo Epstein is hoping that we can retain him if he can slip through waivers, but if not, we’ll trade him.

It’s true, Morales’ numbers are not good, but that’s why he was available. He strikes out more hitters than Oki, but has struggled with walking batters and giving up the long ball (though I hear that happens from time to time in Colorado). Perhaps Curt Young can work some magic with the young flamethrower. I’ll have to see what we send back in return for him, but this seems like a good upside deal to me.

Kevin Millwood signed to a minor-league deal

Millwood, who even the Yankees didn’t want this year, has signed a minor league deal with Boston. With both Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey hitting the DL this week, the Sox are left with Tim Wakefield, Alfredo Aceves and Felix Doubront on the depth chart. Both of these guys could be on the shelf for extended periods of time, so I don’t blame the Sox for wanting to beef up the starters in our system. I’d like to see Doubront get an opportunity before Millwood, but that may not happen. Basically, if we see Millwood up here for more than a couple of inter-League starts, we’re in trouble. His experience with NL hitters could come in handy.

Iglesias sent down, Sutton called up

Drew Sutton has earned his chance this year, but he got hurt exactly at the time the Sox needed him last week, which is why Jose Iglesias was called up instead. Now that he is ready to go, the Sox will make the exchange and get Iglesias some regular playing time again at Pawtucket. As a result, Daniel Nava was designated for assignment to take him off the 40-man roster. Hopefully we’ll get to keep him, but if not, I hope he gets a good opportunity elsewhere.


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