As first reported late Saturday night by WEEI’s Alex Speier, the Red Sox have promoted infield prospect Garin Cecchini from their Triple-A club in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Alex Wilson was then optioned to Pawtucket in a corresponding 25-man roster move.
Cecchini is not in the Red Sox starting lineup on Sunday and will probably be sent back to the minors when Stephen Drew is activated later this week.
The 23-year-old hit .322/.443/.471 with seven home runs and 23 stolen bases in 129 games last season between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland. He’s struggled this year in his first taste of Triple-A, but the third baseman was rated a Top 75 prospect this past offseason by MLB.com, Baseball America, and Baseball Prospectus.
Cecchini’s last name, for those curious, is pronounced chick-KEE-nee.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.
Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.
Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.
Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.