The Texas Rangers have acquired first baseman Sam Travis from the Red Sox in exchange for left-hander Jeffrey Springs, the teams announced. Boston has designated left-hander Bobby Poyner for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
Both Travis and Springs were designated for assignment, but Travis cleared waivers, unlike Springs. The Rangers will now pick up Travis’ rights without needing to dedicate a 40-man roster spot to the former prospect. The Red Sox, meanwhile, clearly feel they are upgrading their left-handed bullpen depth in going with Springs over Poyner.
Sam Travis was once a highly touted prospect in the Red Sox farm system. His offensive talent was next to none, frequently being the rage until he landed in AAA. In all, he is a .267/.339/.392 hitter in nearly 1200 Triple-A plate appearances and just a .230/.288/.371 hitter in 278 MLB trips to the plate.
The 27-year-old Springs, meanwhile, struggled with a 6.40 ERA with 32 strikeouts against 23 walks in 32 1/3 innings with Texas in 2019.
He has posted huge strikeout numbers in the upper minors and enjoyed better success with the Rangers as a rookie the year before.
He is, however, an extreme fly-ball pitcher with below-average velocity who saw his opponents’ hard-hit rate soar in 2019. Springs does have three minor league option years remaining, so he’ll be an optionable piece of depth for the Sox for the foreseeable future.
The Rangers could use Travis due to their wanting to keep Joey Gallo in the outfield, and prospect Ronald Guzman has not been able to separate himself as a finished product in the majors yet.