The Red Sox announced early Saturday morning that the club acquired reliever Brad Ziegler from the Diamondbacks for minor league pitcher Jose Almonte and middle infielder Luis Alejandro Basabe. To make room for Ziegler on the 40-man roster, the club moved catcher/outfielder Blake Swihart to the 60-day disabled list.
Ziegler, 36, did not pitch on Friday night against the Giants. He has saved 18 games in 20 chances with a 2.82 ERA and a 27/15 K/BB ratio in 38 1/3 innings. Strikeouts aren’t really his thing, as his 16.4 percent strikeout rate is the 14th-lowest among qualified relievers. Ziegler succeeds by inducing ground balls. His 63 percent ground ball rate is the seventh highest among qualified relievers.
Ziegler will likely set up for Craig Kimbrel in the Red Sox bullpen. Kimbrel, however, was not available on Friday due to soreness in his left knee. In the event Kimbrel would need to go on the disabled list, Ziegler could get the chance to close over Koji Uehara, who has been the club’s closer in recent years but owns an ugly 4.83 ERA this season.
Almonte, 20, has spent the season with Single-A Greenville, compiling a 3.91 ERA and a 45/13 K/BB ratio in 53 innings.
Basabe, 19, has also spent year with Greenville, batting .311/.414/.471 with four home runs, 24 RBI, 39 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 271 plate appearances. Luis Alejandro Basabe has a twin brother in the Red Sox system, Luis Alexander. Alexander was rated the club’s eighth-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. Alejandro was not ranked.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland Athletics center fielder Ramon Laureano had a six-game suspension reduced to four games Friday after appealing the penalty for his role in a benches-clearing brawl with the rival Houston Astros.
Major League Baseball said a settlement had been reached and the A’s were informed of the decision. Laureano was set to begin the four-game suspension Friday night and will miss a three-game weekend Bay Bridge Series against the San Francisco Giants. After sitting out Monday at Arizona, he will be eligible to play Tuesday against the Diamondbacks.
Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron received a 20-game suspension and a fine Tuesday for his role in the fracas at Oakland last Sunday. Laureano also received a fine.
Cintron’s suspension is the longest for an on-field transgression in 15 years, since Texas pitcher Kenny Rogers received 20 games for his altercation with two cameramen in 2005.
Laureano was hit by a pitch from Humberto Castellanos with one out in the seventh inning of Oakland’s 7-2 victory – the third time he got hit in the series and the fifth time overall for an A’s batter. Houston players weren’t plunked at all. He pointed at Castellanos and began exchanging words with a gesturing Cintron then left first base, threw down his batting helmet and began sprinting toward the 41-year-old Cintron.
Astros catcher Dustin Garneau tackled Laureano before the A’s outfielder got to the hitting coach. Laureano is a former Astros player and the rival clubs have been the top two teams in the AL West the past two years. A’s pitcher Mike Fiers, another former Houston player, revealed the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in November to The Athletic.