Rule 5 Draft: Red Sox steal another dark horse reliever from Yankees

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The Boston Red Sox and Chaim Bloom continue to steal prospects from their arch-rival, the New York Yankees.

Last year, it was Garrett Whitlock. That worked out pretty well for Boston.

Brian Cashman made Whitlock available by failing to put him on the Yankees’ 40-man roster. Bloom turned around and selected Whitlock off of New York’s roster, adding him to what at that point was a subpar Boston bullpen. In 2020, Whitlock pitched to the tune of a 1.96 ERA in 46 regular-season appearances. In the playoffs, he had a 2.16 ERA in five showings.

“Obviously, it turned out that it came back to bite us. He was rehabbing from Tommy John and the player that arrived Day One in spring training wasn’t the player that left us. It was just a completely different animal with a lot more juice on his velo … Boston obviously took advantage of it. And they wound up with a gem. So kudos to them and disappointment for us,” Cashman said, per the Boston Globe.

Who is Brian Keller: Did Red Sox find Garrett Whitlock 2.0?

The Red Sox drafted Keller, previously of the Yankees. Keller owned a 2.27 ERA with 65  strikeouts in 55.1 Triple-A innings.

At this point, whether Keller’s potential materializes is anyone’s guess. He’s shown flashes as a right-handed reliever for the RailRiders, but to suggest Bloom has some sort of intel outside of his own intuition and the same scouting advantages every MLB team has at their disposal is nonsense.

The Red Sox see a lot of the Yankees, which makes this pick all the more intriguing. It worked out with Whitlock. Can lightning strike twice?

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