Red Sox Trade Bryce Brentz To Pirates, Free Up Roster Spot For J.D. Martinez

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Red Sox outfielder Bryce Brentz

Photo via Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports Images

The Boston Red Sox made a minor transaction to set up an expected major transaction Tuesday.

Boston traded outfielder Bryce Brentz to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for cash considerations, the team announced Tuesday.

The Red Sox now have an open spot on the 40-man roster, which they’ll presumably use to sign free agent J.D. Martinez, who reportedly agreed to a five-year contract with the club Monday night.

Brentz had shown flashes of promise with Boston in recent years. The 29-year-old appeared in 25 games at the major league level in 2016, hitting .279 with one home run and seven RBIs while serving as an emergency outfielder.

The Tennessee native spent the 2017 season in the minor leagues but put up impressive stats, clubbing 31 home runs and 85 RBIs in 120 games for Triple-A Pawtucket while earning International League All-Star honors.

After that impressive campaign, Brentz was projected to be the Red Sox’s fourth outfielder in 2018, behind the starting trio of Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts. Martinez is expected to slot in at designated hitter but also has outfield experience, so it appears his expected addition was enough to make Brentz expendable.

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