In their quest to acquire more left-handed bullpen depth, the Red Sox dealt away one of their top starting prospects, trading Anthony Ranaudo to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Robbie Ross.
GM Ben Cherington announced the deal on Tuesday. Despite starting 12 games for the Rangers last season, Ross is expected to be used primarily in the Red Sox bullpen, according to the Globe’s Nick Cafardo.
A three-year big league veteran, Ross made 123 appearances out of the Rangers’ bullpen from 2012-13, posting a 2.62 ERA in 127.1 innings with a 2.5 strikeout to walk ratio. But the 25-year-old struggled in 2014, as the Rangers used him both out of the bullpen and in the rotation, and Ross saw his ERA balloon to 6.20 in 27 appearances – 12 of them starts.
Ranaudo was a talented starter in the Red Sox farm system, being named Eastern League Pitcher of the Year for his work with the Portland Sea Dogs in 2013 and was the International League Pitcher of the Year with the Pawtucket Red Sox last season. Called up the Red Sox for his first major league stint in 2014, Ranaudo went 4-3 with a 4.81 ERA in seven starts with the Sox.
With the Red Sox having a surplus of minor league starters – including Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, Matt Barnes, and Eduardo Rodriguez – Cherington made the determination that Ranaudo was the piece that could get the Sox the return they needed, with Craig Breslow being the only left-hander in their bullpen with extended major league experience.