On Thursday, the Red Sox acquired 25-year-old right-hander Jermaine Van Buren from the Cubs for either a player to be named later, or cash.
Van Buren was the Cubs' Pitcher of the Year at Triple A Iowa last season, going 2-3 with a 1.98 ERA and setting a franchise record with 25 saves. He held batters to a lowly .181 average and had a phenomenal 65 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings.
Since becoming a reliever in 2004, Van Buren has excelled, posting a 1.92 ERA with 47 saves in 109 minor league games.
Making his major league debut Aug. 31, the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder held opponents to a .118 batting average, allowing two earned runs in six relief appearances. Over six innings he surrendered just two hits. If he continues that trend, the youngster should bolster the Sox bullpen next season, and potentially for years to come.
It's quite curious that the Cubs would part with the their Triple A Pitcher of the Year for an undetermined player or cash. It's hard to figure what would provoke such a move, but let's just hope that the Cubs loss is the Sox gain. It seems like yet another smart off-season move by the Red Sox GM by committee.