Red Sox Interested In Klesko?

A reader passed along a trade rumor heard this morning on WEEI in Boston from Sean MacAdams.  Here’s the report:

The Red Sox would send reliever Rudy Seanez to the Padres for first baseman Ryan Klesko.

Some background seems appropriate.  Seanez is a 37 year-old right-handed reliever signed to a one-year, $1.9MM deal by the Red Sox this winter.  The club has a $2.1MM option for ’07 that can be bought out for $200,000.  Seanez also will earn incentives this year for his number of appearances. 

Last year with the Padres was easily the best season of his career; he was worth more than three wins and had the third best strikeout rate in the game among pitchers with 60 innings.  He’s toiled for eight different teams and a return to San Diego would mark his third stint with the Pads.  Seanez has seen all of his peripherals decline in his 33 innings this year, and he’s projected by Baseball Prospectus to be out of the game by ’08.  He spent time on the DL last year with shoulder discomfort.

I’m sure you’re familiar with 35 year-old slugger Ryan Klesko.  He was once a feared six-win player in the early part of the decade with San Diego.  The left-hander was acquired by the Padres in a blockbuster deal in 1999 along with Bret Boone in exchange for Quilvio Veras, Wally Joyner, and Reggie Sanders.  Klesko has a no-trade clause as a 10 and 5 player as part of his complicated, reworked contract; he makes $8MM in the final year of the deal.  Kevin Towers has already said he will not exercise the ’07 option.

Klesko hopes to return to the Padres around August 1st after having shoulder surgery on his A/C joint in April.  He hasn’t topped 500 ABs since 2002, but remains adept at drawing walks and may owe last year’s career-low slugging percentage to his painful shoulder and a pinched nerve in his neck.  Klesko would certainly clear waivers, so the Padres have until August 31st to deal him.  He’s willing to waive his no-trade rights if he’s not getting playing time with the Padres and he’s being sent to a contender.  That’s probably the main wrinkle in this possible deal – Klesko would only be a bench player in Boston.  In addition, Kevin Towers’s main concern right now is finding a third baseman.   

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