The Milwaukee Brewers traded dependable relief pitcher Burke Badenhop to the Boston Red Sox for Minor League left-handed pitcher Luis Ortega. At first glance, the move is a head scratcher for Brewers’ fans considering Badenhop actually put forth a decent performance in his lone season with the team. Unfortunately, the organization is trying to cut payroll and replenish the farm system, which is exactly why they made the deal.
Badenhop posted a 2-3 record with a 3.47 earned run average, 42 strikeouts, five holds and one save in 63 appearances in 2013. He also managed to blow three saves.
It certainly wasn’t the 30-year-old’s best statistical season of his career, but it was another reliable performance from a reliever who has been consistent ever since making the move to the bullpen in 2009.
The move is somewhat strange for the Brewers as the bullpen was actually an area where the team excelled, as long as the 23 blown saves aren’t included. The fact is the organization really doesn’t have room to be dismantling a part of the team that could be a life saver next season, especially if they can’t fix their starting rotation woes.
Prospect Ortega is someone who has shown plenty of promise in his two years in the Rookie league, even more so since he switched from a starter to a reliever. He has a career 9-6 record with a 2.25 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 96 innings. He strikes out a lot of batters as his 6.4 strikeouts per nine innings in 2013 suggests. He also doesn’t surrender a lot of home runs, which is something that Milwaukee is interested in.