The Red Sox acquired reliever Hansel Robles from the Twins, tweets ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The Twins are including $500k in the deal, per Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com (via Twitter). That should cover much of the remaining money owed to the right-hander, who signed a one-year, $2MM deal with the Twins this past winter. In exchange, the Twins will receive RHP Alex Scherff, the teams announced.
Robles fills a need for Boston as a hard-throwing righty in the pen. He will slot in somewhere behind setup man Adam Ottavino and closer Matt Barnes in the pecking order – though it’s worth noting that bullpen usage is hardly ever that clean, and Robles should no doubt expect some high-leverage work in the heart of the AL East playoff race.
Robles spent three and a half years with the Mets and two and a half years with the Angels before joining the Twins this offseason. He closed for a short time in LA, notching 23 saves in 2019 while tossing 7 2/3 innings and marking a stellar 2.48 ERA/2.88 FIP. He looked like a borderline elite bullpen arm at that point, but he hasn’t matched those run prevention numbers in the two seasons since.
The overall numbers for Robles this season aren’t all that confidence-inspiring: 45 appearances covering 44 innings with a 4.91 ERA/4.82 FIP worth -0.7 rWAR. He does have 10 saves as he stepped up to cover some high-leverage situations throughout the year. He’s struggled of late, however, with an 11.12 ERA in his last 12 appearances dating back to late June. He doesn’t have to be “the guy” in Boston, however, where he’ll make up just one part of manager Alex Cora’s final line of defense to close out games.
For the Twins, they are adding an intriguing bullpen arm to their system. The 23-year-old Scherff has split this year between High-A and Double-A, racking up exceptional strikeout numbers. Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs notes that his fastball is “is 92-96 with a good changeup”.
Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com was the first to note that Scherff was the return.