With Trot Nixon not expected to return until at least August 31, which would be exactly one month to the day since he went on the DL, the Red Sox have acquired Eric Hinske from the Blue Jays for a player to be named, likely a low-to-mid level prospect. The 2002 Rookie of the Year can play both corner infield positions as well as the outfield.
This season with Toronto, Hinske was batting .264 with 12 homers and 29 RBI.
The Sox will reportedly pay the roughly $1.4 million still owed Hinske for this season, and are on the hook for half of the $5.6 million due to him next year. Toronto will pick up the other half.
Nixon's continuing right biceps injury forced the team to seek a capable left-handed hitter. Minus Nixon and the switch-hitting Jason Varitek, the Sox have been lacking two potential left-handed bats in their overwhelmingly right-handed lineup. Hinske will become the team's primary left-handed pinch hitter off the bench.
Earlier, the Sox signed lefty first baseman Carlos Pena, the Rangers' # 1 draft pick in 1998 and the Tiger's starting first baseman from 2003-2005. The Haverhill native and Northeastern graduate will report to Pawtucket tomorrow.
After a decline at the plate early last year, Pena was demoted to Triple-A Toledo before being recalled for the final seven weeks of the season. He homered 15 times over 38 games after the recall, ranking among the best totals in the Majors in that span. In the end, Pena totaled 18 home runs and 44 RBI in 79 games. But his .235 average lost the confidence of Tiger management.
Most recently Pena was playing for the Columbus Clippers, the Yankees Triple-A club, where he hit .260 with 19 home runs and 66 RBI.
The acquisitions of Hinske and Pena give the Sox options at first and third, as well as the outfield. and will add depth to a depleted bench.