Red Sox trade 2B Luis Urias to Mariners, acquire RHP in return

Red Sox

Boston adds a relief pitcher to the roster to kick off its offseason moves.

Isaiah Campbell made his MLB debut in July this year. AP Photo/Maddy Grassy
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Craig Breslow made his first trade as Red Sox chief baseball officer on Friday night.

Boston is trading second baseman Luis Urias to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for right-handed pitcher Isaiah Campbell.

The Red Sox originally acquired Urias via a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers earlier this year on the day of MLB’s trade deadline (Aug. 1) in exchange for right-handed pitcher Bradley Blalock. Urias played in 32 games for Boston in 2023 and recorded a .225 batting average, 20 hits, 13 RBIs, and two home runs. He committed two errors at second base in 28 games at the position.

Urias’s exit from the team begins to help free the Red Sox’s logjam at second base on its roster. The team’s depth chart at second base looks like this following the trade: Enmanuel Valdez, Pablo Reyes, Ceddanne Rafaela (also an outfielder), and David Hamilton. 

Other players who fielded the position for the Red Sox in 2023 include Christian Arroyo, Yu Chang, Bobby Dalbec, Enrique Hernandez, Trevor Story, Justin Turner, and Connor Wong. Boston needs to solidify second base in 2024 and avoid going down the merry-go-round path as it did in 2023. The club has been linked to free agent Whit Merrifield as a potential solution up the middle.

As for Campbell, the 26-year-old righty made his big league debut in July of this year. In 27 relief appearances this past season, Campbell posted a 2.83 ERA over 28.2 innings. Batters hit .210 against him and scored only nine times. Campbell accumulated 33 strikeouts compared to allowing 13 walks. His 10.36 strikeouts per nine sticks out on the stat sheet.

Standing at 6-foot-4-inches and 230 pounds, Campbell gives the Red Sox a new pitching prospect presumably for its bullpen. With relievers Justin Garza and Joely Rodriguez hitting free agency, Breslow could be looking to tie up loose ends in that area of the pitching staff.

According to Baseball Savant, Campbell relies on three pitches: his fastball (46.9 percent usage in 2023), slider (38.1 percent), and sweeper (15.1 percent). His slider appears to be his most dominant pitch. That pitch put batters away 30.9 percent of the time and struck them out 17 times. Hitters logged a batting average of just .137 when seeing Campbell’s slider.

Boston only seems to be getting started in terms of adding pitching this winter. The team has been linked to free agent starters Jordan Montgomery and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Other top-of-the-rotation arms such as Sonny Gray, Aaron Nola, and Blake Snell are also on the market.