The Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals have swung a trade, let’s hand out some grades
Mark Feinsand of MLB.com has reported that infielder Adalberto Mondesí and a player to be named later have been traded from the Kansas City Royals to the Boston Red Sox. Left-handed relief pitcher Josh Taylor is heading to the Royals in the deal.
Adalberto Mondesi is being traded to the Red Sox, per source. The Royals will receive Josh Taylor in exchange, while Boston will also receive a player to be named later.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 24, 2023
After shortstop Trevor Story was revealed to have undergone Tommy John surgery earlier in the offseason, it became apparent that the Red Sox would have to do something at short to replace his production.
Super utilityman Kiké Hernández seemed to be first in line to take over at shortstop but Boston has apparently chosen to move him to second with the addition of Mondesí, which will push Christian Arroyo to a bench spot.
MLB Trade Grades: Adalberto Mondesí from Royals to Red Sox for Josh Taylor
The acquisition of Mondesí is a bit of a head-scratcher at first glance. The 27-year-old has been a part of the Royals big league squad since all the way back in 2016 but had never really put it together for them outside of a strong 75-game showing back in 2018 in which he hit 14 home runs and stole 32 bases with an OPS+ of 115.
The Royals had given him chance after chance after chance to excel, trying him out at different positions, moving him around in the batting order, and even giving him some time in the minors to figure it out. Finally, it appears that his chances have run out.
At the plate, there are few hitters in the bigs that have struggled as badly as Mondesí has in recent years. His combined batting average since 2019 is .248 and his OPS+ is 82, meaning he’s been 18 percent below league-average. All he brings to the Red Sox of value is his wheels on the base paths and his incredible defense at short. He can’t hit for the life of him but he can at least offer something to the Red Sox.
Taylor, 29, missed all of last season due to a back injury. He wound up making a handful of appearances in the minors but the results just were not there.
He was a reliable arm in the Red Sox bullpen as recently as 2021, where he posted a 3.40 ERA in 61 appearances, allowing only two home runs and striking out 60 batters in 47+ innings of work.
Taylor primarily relies on a sweeping mid-to-high-80s slider that he used just under 50 percent of the time in 2021. What makes the pitch especially affective is the way he can use it against both righties and lefties to similar results.
At first glance, it appears that the Royals have won this trade. The club is finally able to move on from Mondesí, who is a free agent at season’s end, and was able to bring aboard a solid left-handed bullpen piece who is under team control through the 2025 season.
Royals grade: A
Red Sox grade: D