The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have agreed to a trade involving veteran reliever Adam Ottavino, the teams announced Monday. The Yankees will also send right-handed pitching prospect Frank German to the Red Sox in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later.
Ottavino, 35, signed a three-year contract worth $27 million with the Yankees prior to the 2019 season. In two seasons in New York, he appeared in 97 games and compiled a 2.76 ERA (162 ERA+) and a 2.31 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Ottavino's overall numbers eschew that he experienced a rough 2020 season, during which he held a bloated 5.89 ERA.
Earlier Monday, CBS Sports reported that the Yankees had been trying to move Ottavino because of his contract, which counts for $9 million in luxury-tax calculations. (The Yankees are now in a better position to bring back veteran outfielder Brett Gardner without exceeding the luxury tax.) Clearly New York felt that it could replace Ottavino at a lower cost, either through internal means or as part of another trade or free-agent signing.
The Red Sox, for their part, get a potentially useful veteran reliever in Ottavino as well as a tacked-on prospect in German, the Yankees' fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft. German reached the High-A level in 2019, striking out more than a batter per inning in 16 appearances, 15 of them being starts.
This is the first trade between the Yankees and the Red Sox since a 2014 deal that saw Stephen Drew and Kelly Johnson swap places. Prior to that, the Yankees and Red Sox had not agreed to a swap since 1997. Ottavino previously said that he would strike out Babe Ruth -- the most prominent player to ever be traded between the two rivals -- "every time."