The Pirates have acquired outfielder Bryce Brentz from Boston for cash considerations. The Sox probably are making the move to clear a roster spot for J.D. Martinez. The Pirates cleared a roster spot by moving right-hander Nick Burdi to the 60-day disabled list. The latter move was expected from the time the Pirates acquired Burdi, as he’s recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Brentz spent five years on the Red Sox’ top prospect list, per Baseball America, while showing tremendous raw power. He hasn’t generally hit for great averages or gotten on base a lot, as he pretty much airs it out at the plate. He’s tended to strike out in about a quarter of his plate appearances. He has a career line in 383 AAA games of 254/317/462. He had his best year there in 2017, albeit at age 28, batting 271/334/529, with 31 HR. He’s gotten only 90 plate appearances in the majors, divided between 2014 and 206; he spent much of 2015 injured. With the Sox Brentz has hit 287/311/379, with three walks and 26 strikeouts. A right-handed hitter, he’s had some massive platoon splits in the upper minors. He’s been largely limited to left field in recent seasons. Brentz has a history of injuries beyond just 2015, including a gunshot wound he suffered while cleaning a handgun.
Brentz is out of options. In fact, the Red Sox outrighted him to AAA prior to the 2017 season. He spent the entire season there, then was added back to their 40-man roster afterward. Presumably his option and 40-man roster status will give him a leg up on an outfield job coming out of spring training.
Oddly, the Pirates now have the only two players in organized baseball named Brentz.
More in a bit.