On Wednesday morning, the Washington Nationals added yet another catcher to their organization. After signing Steven Lerud to a minor league contract, the Nationals agreed to trade lefty Daniel Rosenbaum to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for catcher Dan Butler. This deal was first reported by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:
It was an interesting trade from the Nationals’ perspective because they dealt away a reliever in Rosenbaum that had been in their system since he was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2009 MLB Draft. The 27-year-old lefty out of Xavier had been in AAA Syracuse each of the last two seasons, but hasn’t appeared in a game since April 21 after undergoing Tommy John Surgery to fix his UCL.
If you go off Rosenbaum’s last full season in 2013, he went 7-11 with a 3.87 ERA in 28 starts. While the numbers aren’t eye-popping, one stat that stands out on Rosenbaum is that the lefty threw 158.1 innings in 2013, the most of any pitcher on the Syracuse Chiefs’ staff.
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As far as Butler goes, the Red Sox had designated him for assignment last week. The 28-year-old finally got his chance in the majors last season. In seven games, he hit .211 with two RBI’s.
Butler had spent the last two seasons in AAA Pawtucket. After a 14 home run season in 2013 (second on Pawtucket), he hit just four home runs this past season with the batting average dropping from .262 in 2013 to .241 in 2014.His defense is of high value after making only two errors last season compared to six in 2013.
With the Red Sox likely to have their top catching prospect, Blake Swihart in AAA in 2015, this is a move that should help Butler get a chance to compete for the catching spot in Syracuse.
As for the Nationals, could this be a move that signals the carrying of three catchers on the 25-man roster with Wilson Ramos, Jose Lobaton (who is out of options), and Sandy Leon. Butler played over 80 games in the minors each of the past two seasons and brings the power to the position. At first glance, this looks like a win-win trade for both sides.