Diamondbacks Add Boxberger To Bullpen Mix
The Rays avoided giving a raise to an oft-injured player on Thursday when they traded former All-Star closer Brad Boxberger to the Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league righhander Curtis Taylor.
Boxberger missed the first half of the 2017 season with a right flexor strain, his second straight year missing significant time to injury. With a raise coming his way as a second-year arbitration-eligible player, the Rays elected to trade him for a young pitching prospect.
Curtis Taylor, RHP (Low Class A Kane County)
The Diamondbacks drafted Taylor in the fourth round out of Canada in 2016 and he made 13 effective starts in his first full season before going down with a right shoulder impingement. Taylor went 3-4, 3.32 with 68 strikeouts and 23 walks in 62.1 innings for the Cougars, but did not pitch after July 13. Taylor is a physical presence at 6-foot-6, 215 pounds and sits 92-96 mph on his fastball with plus sink. He flashes a plus slider but lacks a third pitch, with his changeup fringy at-best. Taylor also pitches with a max-effort delivery. That delivery, his two-pitch mix and health concerns make him a future reliever for most evaluators, although a potential late-inning one.
2016 Draft Report Card: Arizona Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks grade top pick Anfernee Grier as a 70 runner
Brad Boxberger, RHP (MLB)
Boxberger saved 41 games and was an All-Star in 2015 before injuries derailed his ascent. He had core muscle surgery before the 2016 season that cost him two months and then missed two more months with a lat strain. He then had his flexor strain this season. Boxberger hasn’t pitched more than 30 innings in either of the last two years, and last season was 4-4, 3.38 with 40 strikeouts and 11 walks in 29.1 innings. He will slot into the D-backs bullpen immediately and try to stay healthy enough to hold down a late-inning role.