Red Sox acquire C Michael McKenry from Colorado

191542.jpg

Red Sox acquire C Michael McKenry from Colorado

First it was on, then it was off. But in the end, the Red Sox did indeed acquire catcher Michael McKenry from the Colorado Rockies for right-handed pitcher Daniel Turpen.

News of the deal was broken by the New York Post Tuesday afternoon, then immediately denied by the Red Sox. But Tuesday night, shortly after 8 p.m., the club announced the move.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the club designated catcher Mark Wagner for assignment.

McKenry, 26, spent the 2010 season with Colorados Triple-A Colorado Springs club before making his big-league debut in September, appearing in six games overall with the Rockies and making one start at catcher.

With Colorado Springs, he hit .265 (92-for-347) with 23 doubles, 1 triple, 10 home runs and 49 RBI in 99 games. McKenrys 94 games behind the plate tied for the most in the Pacific Coast League and he led league backstops with 691 total chances, 624 putouts and 60 assists. He threw out 23 of 80 attempted base stealers (29 percent), fifth among PCL leaders.

McKenry owns a .265 average (465-for-1758) with 127 doubles, 66 home runs, 287 RBI, 262 runs and 229 walks in 491 career minor-league games. He hit two home runs and collected four RBI in 11 spring training games with the Rockies this year.

Turpen, 24, was acquired by the Red Sox from San Francisco last season, then picked by the Yankees in December's Rule 5 draft. Rule 5 players are required to spend the entire season on the major-league roster or be returned to the team from which they were drafted, and the Sox got Turpen back from the Yanks on March 13.

He had a combined 7-6 record with four saves and a 4.30 ERA (33 ER69.0 IP) in 49 relief appearances between Double-A Richmond and Double-A Portland, including a 2-1 mark with three saves and a 4.91 ERA (10 ER18.1 IP) in 12 outings with Portland after he was traded to the Red Sox on July 31 for right-hander Ramon Ramirez.

Red Sox do not need Sonny Gray, and they know it

Red Sox do not need Sonny Gray, and they know it

BOSTON — Sonny Gray is not what the Red Sox need.

As of Monday, the power rankings of their trade targets should go as such: 1. Third baseman 2. Reliever 3. Back-end starter.

When he was addressing the addition of Doug Fister three days ago, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski noted that a premier starter is not what he lacks.

“Unlike maybe some other clubs, I don't believe that we need to add a top-of-the-rotation-type starter,” Dombrowski said. “We have [Chris] Sale. I think David Price continues to make strides to come back. His stuff is good he's just got to get back. [Drew] Pomeranz has thrown well for us. [Eduardo] Rodriguez has thrown well. We know Rick Porcello is a good pitcher.

“So we're not, maybe other clubs are looking for that No. 1, No. 2 type starter. That's not really important for us. I think it's more important to be in a position where we add depth for us, somebody that can help us win major league games if needed.”

Yahoo’s Jeff Passan on Monday reported that the Red Sox “have quietly sent some of their most respected evaluators to his last two starts. This could fall under standard due diligence, but one source familiar with their intentions said the Red Sox are keen for Gray – and when president Dave Dombrowski targets a player, the price for other teams jumps accordingly.” 

Due diligence is indeed all the Red Sox are up to, a baseball source with knowledge of the team’s thinking told CSNNE.com on Monday.

The Red Sox’ trade chips are limited, if they don’t want to drastically diminish their farm system. Gray is very close with David Price, but Gray's 4.45 ERA isn’t inspiring. He has a 3.60 FIP — fielding independent pitching — and has great talent. But again, he doesn’t play the hot corner.

Offense on a whole is a greater need. The Sox entered Monday with the third lowest slugging percentage in the AL. Hanley Ramirez is now battling some left knee pain as well as his shoulder issue, after he took a pitch off the knee Sunday.

It’s warmed up, but the Sox power bats have not also warmed up.

“I wouldn’t hinge this all on just temperature,” manager John Farrell said Monday. “And I don’t know that we use that as an excuse prior. . . Over the last three or four weeks, it’s kind of stagnated a little bit. I think the biggest thing for us as a group is to still maintain a consistent approach at the plate. When we think about getting too much muscle in a swing, eventually the strike zone expands, you don’t get the pitch that you’re looking for. We can’t afford to maybe go away from that approach for the sake of maybe trying to drive the ball with greater consistency.”

Tzu-Wei Lin was starting for the Sox on Monday, yet another in the third-base carousel. Jhonny Peralta and Pablo Sandoval (rehab assignment) are going to alternate time at third base starting Tuesday with Triple-A Pawtucket. 

That’s where they need help.

The bullpen can’t be overlooked either. Carson Smith started a throwing program again Monday, but it’s unclear when he’ll be able to return, or at what effectiveness.

Carrabis: Red Sox coaches were upset at John Farrell's usage of Craig Kimbrel

Carrabis: Red Sox coaches were upset at John Farrell's usage of Craig Kimbrel

Jared Carrabis says he was told that some Boston Red Sox coaches were not happy with the way John Farrell was over-using Craig Kimbrel, perhaps because he was trying to save his job.