Rockies Acquire Franklin Morales

The Rockies have acquired left-hander Franklin Morales from the Red Sox in exchange for infielder Jonathan Herrera, according to Ian Browne and Thomas Harding of MLB.com (Twitter link). In a second tweet, Harding adds that minor league right-hander Chris Martin is also headed to the Rockies.

The Red Sox acquired Morales from the Rockies in exchange for cash considerations in May 2011. With Boston, the now-27-year-old Morales pitched to a 3.90 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 134 innings. Though he did not pan out as a starter, Morales has held left-handed hitters to a .194/.286/.301 batting line in his career.

The Rockies added left-hander Boone Logan last week on a three-year deal, which led to them dealing Josh Outman to Cleveland for Drew Stubbs just less than an hour ago. However, Morales will now give manager Walt Weiss another lefty option to pair with Logan in the bullpen. Though Morales is a fly-ball pitcher, homers haven't been a problem for him in his career with the Rockies. He averaged 0.9 HR/9 as a member of the Rockies and has matched that rate at Coors Field, allowing seven homers in 70 1/3 career innings there.

Martin, 27, posted a 2.25 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 72 innings of relief between the Double-A and Triple-A levels. Martin was actually drafted by the Rockies in the 21st round of the 2005 draft but did not sign. He went on to pitch in independent ball, where Red Sox scouts noticed him and signed him as an amateur free agent prior to the 2011 season.

The 29-year-old Herrera has batted .276/.326/.357 for the Rockies over the past two seasons in 466 plate appearances. The bulk of his work in the Majors has come at second base, where he has outstanding marks of +5.2 UZR/150 and +15 Defensive Runs Saved. Herrera also has experience at third base and shortstop, making him a versatile addition to manager John Farrell's bench.


66 Responses to Rockies Acquire Franklin Morales Leave a Reply

  1. MB923 2 years ago

    MLBTR tradition – Wow, didn’t see this coming

  2. EarlyMorningBoxscore 2 years ago

    Well the Sox get the utility infielder they were looking for. That’s a positive thing.

    • Karkat 2 years ago

      Feels like not much of a return for a serviceable arm, but we really were lacking some infield depth I suppose. At least Herrera defends well?

      • Croagnut 2 years ago

        Can’t imagine getting more for Morales. He would’ve most likely been released or DFA’d sooner or later. Glad to get something back for a guy who was terrible last year.

        • BoSoXaddict 2 years ago

          I think it was a fair return but I disagree that Morales “most likely [would have] been released or DFA’d sooner or later.” – he had more value than THAT.

          • Croagnut 2 years ago

            Well Morales value wasn’t good enough to bring back a utility infielder on his own. Red Sox had to throw in a pretty good minor leaguer just to get the deal done.

      • Croagnut 2 years ago

        Can’t imagine getting more for Morales. He would’ve most likely been released or DFA’d sooner or later. Glad to get something back for a guy who was terrible last year.

      • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

        I feel like they easily could have kept Morales and just signed Clint Barmes. Maybe they were looking for more in a bat?

      • John Donovan 2 years ago

        Herrera is scrappy in a David Eckstein sort of way (but not quite that good). He will get the occasional clutch hit, can play the infield and the outfield pretty well, and is the perfect 25th man on the roster. The problem comes when he is asked to be more than the 25th man on the roster. His weaknesses show then.

        BTW, there is no way the Rockies would have ever given up more for Morales. We know what he is capable of, but we also know what he has shown better than anyone.

  3. discollama 2 years ago

    Morales again? Interesting. This explains why they felt that they could give up a lefty in their pen for Stubbs.

  4. Brandon Mason 2 years ago

    Why would they want him back.?

    • John Donovan 2 years ago

      Well all I can say is I don’t want him back. It’s going to bring back bad memories of him and Felipe Paulino in the pen. Every game they came in one of them blew it big time. I thought that was why the Rox traded him away to begin with.

    • BoSoXaddict 2 years ago

      Maybe cuz he’s a 27 year-old LHP that can throw 96, has great career numbers against lefties and is versatile enough to be a back-end starter or spot-starter? I still like the trade for the Sox, but Morales isn’t some bum..he’s still got plenty decent upside.

      • Wags71 2 years ago

        He hasn’t thrown 96 in awhile.

        • Thizzie 2 years ago

          Uhh he still brings it dude

          • Rockiesfan4ever 2 years ago

            Bringing it being an average fastball velocity of 93 MPH?

        • BoSoXaddict 2 years ago

          Well, he only pitched in like 20 games last season cuz of injuries (some of which were of the unlucky variety) but he definitely was gettinf it up there in 2012. I believe as a starter he sits more around 93-94 but there’s no doubt he’s got good stuff – this was much more about the Sox dealing from a surplus to fill a need and dealing someone who didn’t really have a well-defined role on the team than it was about them dealing a player they didn’t like.

        • BoSoXaddict 2 years ago

          Well, he only pitched in like 20 games last season cuz of injuries (some of which were of the unlucky variety) but he definitely was gettinf it up there in 2012. I believe as a starter he sits more around 93-94 but there’s no doubt he’s got good stuff – this was much more about the Sox dealing from a surplus to fill a need and dealing someone who didn’t really have a well-defined role on the team than it was about them dealing a player they didn’t like.

        • jethom33545 2 years ago

          Yeah, last summer.

  5. vtadave 2 years ago

    Not sure whether Chris Martin can pitch, but at least he has his musical career to fall back on.

    • Eric Foley 2 years ago

      Ha, just got that.

    • Chioakcisco 2 years ago

      Not only does he sing, he also goes by the alias “DJ Premier.” Seems like he’s set.

  6. Spencer James 2 years ago

    From glancing at the numbers, these two seem like solid depth addition for the Sox. Good move on Ben’s part.

    • Thizzie 2 years ago

      Johnny Herrara is solid, has competitive at bats and good with the glove. Can play 2B, SS, 3B and OF.

  7. Rockiesfan4ever 2 years ago

    Martin is coming from the Red Sox to the Rockies

    • SwingtimeInTheRockies 2 years ago

      That makes more sense as I did not recognize the name.

  8. Matt Talbert 2 years ago

    I mean a depth move, a b/u UTL infielder for a potentially useful role-specific bullpen arm I see nothing wrong with this for either side. At the very least…I mean its not going to make or break you more than likely.

  9. The_Porcupine 2 years ago

    Why would they want him again? Did pitching in Boston suddenly make him good?

  10. James F 2 years ago

    Well, I like this trade but it could turn ugly if Andrew Miller goes back to his old tricks.

    • EarlyMorningBoxscore 2 years ago

      Not really. They still have Breslow, and Britton as lefties out of the pen.

      • James F 2 years ago

        Britton isn’t ready. He has good stuff but he still needs work in the minors which could become troublesome if, again, one of our lefties struggle, mainly Miller..

        • Chris Coburn 2 years ago

          I can see Britton being ready at some point this season. How soon and how ready are certainly unknown, but with the exception of 5 bad innings in Pawtucket he’s been pretty solid through the lower levels. Definitely needs to bring the walks down quite a bit. Will be fun to watch along with Henry Owens when they’re more developed.

          • James F 2 years ago

            He’s good for low leverage or long relief at best at the moment. And yeah, he needs to work on his command which he has been improving but the majors is not the place to do it.

            EDIT: We seem to have a Britton fanboy voting down all my comments.

          • Chris Coburn 2 years ago

            Probably Drake himself.

          • Croagnut 2 years ago

            How is this even a debate? Britton’s the 3rd lefty option out of the bullpen. Most likely he will be able to start the season in the minors, but even if he didn’t lots of pitchers pitch in the majors at 25. Also, he’s not replacing Uehara, its FRANKLIN MORALES were talking about.

            In case you forgot, the numbers: (ERA, WHIP, BB/9, WAR)
            Morales: 4.62, 1.539, 5.3, -0.1
            Britton: 3.86, 1.333, 3.0, +0.2

            “Definitely needs to bring the walks down quite a bit” When were you going to talk to Franklin about his 5.3 BBs per 9? Seriously, WAY too critical for a very minor role on the team.

          • James F 2 years ago

            You’re comparing a small sample with a down year from Morales. Age has nothing to do with this either. I don’t care about the Sox trading away Morales as well. It’s the fact that if someone goes down again (Which resulted in the Sox having to get Matt Thornton) or Miller has a bad year (Which Morales had last year), the Sox cannot rely on Britton in high leverage situations which is his biggest problem.

          • Croagnut 2 years ago

            1) Morales’s ’12 season: (His best in his career)
            3.77, 1.231, 3.5, +.6
            Britton’s numbers aren’t far off those. And looking further at the BB/9, Morales has never in his career had 3.0 BB/9 as Britton’s was this year. Yet, you criticize Britton’s BB/9.
            2) Don’t compare Miller to Morales, Miller is worlds better pitcher than Morales.
            3) Good mention of Thornton. If it doesn’t work out, why can’t they grab another Thornton when they need?

            Simple fact Red Sox needed a utility infielder and gave up a pitcher they would most likely have released/DFA’d sooner or later. Britton probably will spend most of the season at Pawtucket, but IF he does come up, and IF he falls flat on his face, they can alway trade another Brandon Jacobs for another Matt Thornton.

          • Croagnut 2 years ago

            *Another note Brittons AA and AAA BB/9 aren’t as bad as Morales’s major league numbers.

        • Colby Smith 2 years ago

          Britton’s ready to go after his experience in the playoffs. He threw pretty good for a rookie and he’s a solid lefty arm out of the pen,

          • James F 2 years ago

            He didn’t pitch in the playoffs.

          • Colby Smith 2 years ago

            oh sorry my bad ha I just realized that he did pitch pretty good at the end of the season though

  11. Chris Coburn 2 years ago

    Too bad Morales never really developed into the starter we thought he could become after his late season surprise in 2012. Hopefully he can establish more control and consistency back in Colorado. Btw Chris Martin would be headed to the Rockies FROM the Red Sox.

  12. WrigleyTerror37 2 years ago

    Avalanche!!!
    Rockies players falling down the Mountain.
    Rockies are really moving pieces today
    edit (spelling)

  13. NOLASoxFan 2 years ago

    It’s hard to be objective about Morales. His numbers with the Sox were okay and showed some promise. But, it sure did seem like his bad days on the mound were some kind of ugly.

  14. MaineBaseball 2 years ago

    Red Sox dealt from a surplus (lefty relievers) and got a piece of need (utility infielder who can bat from the left-side). Excellent trade by Ben. To be honest, I’m glad it was Morales who went. Even though he had a some good stuff watching him pitch was painful sometimes when he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

    • rsoxbob 2 years ago

      I hope Herrera proves to be of some value, because not only does Morales have great stuff and upside (I know–consistency is the issue), but Martin was fantastic last year (albeit in AAA)…seems like an overpay, but hope it works out. (Hidden plus: should put a nail in the Stephen Drew Red Sox coffin!)

  15. SwingtimeInTheRockies 2 years ago

    This either ends up a small plus move fr both clubs or a meh move for both. Frankie Mo’s a solid bullpen addition and Herrera’s a useful-ish utl guy.

  16. DerekJeterDan 2 years ago

    Out for the Rockies – Josh Outman and Jonathan Herrera
    In for the Rockies – Franklin Morales, Drew Stubbs, Chris Martin

    I’d say Colorado had a pretty good day at the office.
    Still shouldn’t have traded Dexter Fowler but good day, none the less.

    • Croagnut 2 years ago

      Rockies traded for Morales, who they gave up for cash, 2 years ago. ERA 4.62, WHIP 1.539, “Okay perfect time to get him back”. Great Move, saved him the heartache of being released.

  17. Wags71 2 years ago

    Chris Martin is going to the Rockies, not the Red Sox.

  18. Croagnut 2 years ago

    Best thing about this trade is I’ll stop mixing him up with Felix Doubront.

  19. Shauntell 2 years ago

    The Rockies just wanted to have 3 lefty relievers again after they dealt Outman. Why they absolutely need 3, I don’t know…

  20. Brent Nault 2 years ago

    I love what the Rockies have done thus far: adding Jordan Lyles, Drew Stubbs, Brett Anderson, Boone Logan, Justin Morneau, and LaTroy Hawkins.

    • Thizzie 2 years ago

      Excpet that Morneau has little to nothing left in the tank. He looked pretty much done last year, I thought he might have to sign a minor league contract coming off his poor 2013 season

  21. Captain 2 years ago

    The end of Stephen Drew in a Red Sox uniform?

    • Croagnut 2 years ago

      If they brought back Drew it would mean they would probably move Middlebrooks. Without Middlebrooks, Sox would still need a utility infielder.

  22. Dylan Griffin 2 years ago

    Unless Sox decide to move Middlebrooks, looks to be the end of Drew coming back to Boston. Middlebrooks at 3B, Bogaerts at SS. Just too many sacrifices with Drew (moving Bogaerts off his natural spot, won’t receive draft pick compensation, making another trade to free up cash for drew, dealing with Boras, etc). Herrera will back up SS, 2B, and 3B.

    • Croagnut 2 years ago

      Hope your right. All your points about Drew right on. However, I think even before the Herrera trade, moving Middlebrooks in a trade would have been an automatic if they resigned Drew. So, this trade doesn’t really clear anything up regarding Drew.

  23. Steve Corbett 2 years ago

    Two things come to mind: I guess we can write off Drew coming back and apparently they found Brock Holt to be a disappointment.

  24. John Donovan 2 years ago

    “Though Morales is a fly-ball pitcher, homers haven’t been a problem for him in his career with the Rockies.”

    He would usually give up 2 singles, 2 walks, and 2 doubles in his appearances. The other team didn’t need to hit home runs.

  25. Rick M 2 years ago

    What a waste. Another excellent power arm that has never achieved his promise. Last I remember of Morales was sitting at Fenway in game 6 of the ALCS and watching him fall apart.

    Now maybe the Sox can just pass on the latest Drew family member and save some $$ for any mid season needs. WMB and X-man will start.

  26. Jack Miller 2 years ago

    Goodbye Franklin, won’t miss you. Thanks for netting us Herrara though

  27. RobFromLoveland 2 years ago

    Morales has a career ERA of 4.38, record 13-18, no complete games, 11 saves in 7 years. And the headline reads ‘Rockies acquire lefty ace’? If that’s the bar, there should be at least 50 ‘aces’ easily available this winter.

  28. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Morales has decent potential; the issue is nagging injuries, serious control issues, and the fact that Boston really didn’t have a place for him in their stacked ‘pen; or if they did, he could be easily replaced. Getting a utility infielder who plays good defense is something we really needed to do, and we did. I’d rather give up an enigmatic up-and-down lefty and a no-name minor leaguer who we are selling high on because of a nice stint in the Dominican league than hand out a decent contract to a declining vet. Herrera is a good upside play and I think this plugs a hole without creating another one.

  29. MaineBaseball 2 years ago

    I’ll take a switch-hitting utility infielder with a .265 career average any day. Especially when all I have to give up is Franklin Morales.

  30. southpaw777 2 years ago

    Hes a solid defender at 3 IF positions and makes good contact at the plate.

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