The Red Sox traded right-hander Travis Lakins to the Cubs in exchange for a player to be named later or cash, both teams announced Tuesday afternoon. The Sox added that left-hander Bobby Poyner went unclaimed on outright waivers and has been assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Both teams now have full 40-man rosters.
Lakins, 25, was designated for assignment last week. Although he’d consistently ranked in the No. 15-25 range of a thin Boston farm system, the Ohio State product has yet to put together a particularly strong showing in the Majors or in the upper minors. Lakins made his big league debut this past season, yielding a 3.86 ERA with a lackluster 18-to-10 K/BB ratio in 23 2/3 innings for Boston. His work in Triple-A has been rather similar, as he’s compiled a 3.82 ERA with 8.4 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and slightly below-average grounder rates in parts of two seasons there.
Scouting reports on Lakins praise his curveball as a potential above-average offering, and he did average 93.8 mph on his heater in his brief MLB work. Clearly, the new Chaim Bloom-led front office isn’t enthralled with the right-hander, but the Cubs and their ongoing quest to stockpile ’pen depth without actually adding to the payroll in a meaningful way saw enough upside to take a flier.
Poyner, meanwhile, limped to a 6.94 ERA in just 11 2/3 innings last year. He posted solid numbers for the BoSox in his debut campaign (2018) and has averaged nearly 10 punchouts per nine innings pitched over the life of his minor league career. Having gone unclaimed, Poyner will remain in the organization without requiring a 40-man roster spot, so the Sox could take another look at him down the line in 2020.