The Red Sox made their second bold move in as many days on Wednesday, optioning struggling righty Alfredo Aceves to AAA Pawtucket following the team's 6-5 victory against the Oakland Athletics. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox will spend the next 72 hours trying to trade Aceves, who has posted an ugly 8.66 ERA in five games (three starts) so far this season.
Catcher Ryan Lavarnway will be called up in Aceves' place, and will provide the team with an extra bat for the rest of the week before John Lackey is ready to return from the disabled list this weekend. In 11 games with Pawtucket, Lavarnway has hit .310 with an impressive .423 on-base percentage.
Aceves has been a constant source of both on- and off-the-field issues for the Red Sox throughout the last year. In addition to struggling on the mound over the past twelve months, Aceves has consistently been involved in disputes with teammates and coaches, and has become a sore in an otherwise jovial Red Sox clubhouse so far this season.
After giving up eight runs (seven earned) over 3 1/3 innings against the Athletics on Tuesday night, Aceves blamed a small strike zone and his team's offensive struggles for the loss.
"We got our hacks," Aceves told reporters, including Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. "Why don't we hit?"
While the club would love to trade Aceves in the next 72 hours (before he is required to report to Pawtucket), the trade market for the erratic pitcher may not be too strong. Appearing on WEEI's Mut & Merloni show today, ESPN insider Buster Olney indicated that he would not expect the Red Sox to get much back for Aceves, "basically, because his reputation is so bad." One major league general manager told Olney that the Sox would get "nothing" back for Aceves, and Olney commented that he "didn't think they're [the Red Sox] going to get anything serious in return based on what I've heard from rival general managers."
Olney speculated that the Angels could be a fit for Aceves, and that other teams may be willing to take a flier on him. Over the next few days, it will be interesting to see if the Red Sox can get anything in return for the eccentric reliever. If they are unable to, he will remain --likely unhappily-- as a depth option in Pawtucket.
For the latest, be sure to follow Chris Cotillo on Twitter @TradeDeadliner.
Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com was the first to report that Aceves was demoted, and the team later announced the move. Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe was first to report that Lavarnway will be called up in his place.