BOSTON — Ryan Cook was playing cards Friday in a Triple-A clubhouse in Nashville when he received a call from Oakland Athletics assistant general manager David Forst informing him he had been traded to the Red Sox just before the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline.
Cook’s now ready for whatever.
“I’m excited. I’m excited to get over here,” Cook said before Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays upon joining the Red Sox at Fenway Park. “I got the call and I couldn’t get on the plane fast enough to get over here.”
Cook will give the Red Sox additional bullpen depth down the stretch, though his specific role within the unit is unclear. Boston can use the final two months of the season to determine whether the right-handed reliever might fit into its major league plans for 2016. The 28-year-old has had success at the big league level in the past, so he represents a buy-low acquisition with upside for the Red Sox.
“Honest to goodness, I haven’t had a chance (to discuss my role with the Red Sox),” Cook said. “I got on the plane, got here, got in late. I’ll fit in wherever they need me to fit in.”
Cook appeared in just four games with the A’s this season after making 54 appearances for Oakland in 2014. He totaled 142 appearances between 2012 and 2013, during which he posted a 2.30 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP and 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings over 140 2/3 innings. He was an American League All-Star in 2012.
“It’s been a wild ride this year for me, for sure,” said Cook, who posted a 4.05 ERA in 30 appearances with Triple-A Nashville before Friday’s trade. “It’s been a grind. But as of late, it’s been a lot better and I’m excited to get here and help as much as I can.
“I tried to change a few things up in spring training, and in doing so, it pushed me back and then I kind of had to learn my delivery over again,” Cook added of his up-and-down 2015 campaign. “It took a little bit longer than I wanted it to, but I feel like I’m back to where I need to be.”
The Red Sox’s clubhouse is full of new faces for Cook, who knows most of them only through playing against them. But Cook came up in the Arizona Diamondbacks system with Red Sox starter Wade Miley, so perhaps that will help ease his transition into a new setting.
Cook’s willingness to do whatever doesn’t hurt, either.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images