MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Boston Red Sox acquired left-handed reliever Fernando Abad from the Minnesota Twins for minor league pitcher Pat Light.
The deal was the first announced Monday before the non-waiver trade deadline, giving the Red Sox another veteran for the bullpen in their pursuit of Baltimore and Toronto in the AL East.
Abad has a 2.65 ERA in 39 appearances for the Twins, his first season with the club. He is making $1.25 million this year and will be eligible for free agency after the 2017 season.
The 30-year-old Abad has held opponents to a .220 batting average this year. He came up with Houston and also has pitched for Washington and Oakland.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski had been coy in recent weeks when asked about the necessity to improve his bullpen. Injuries to closer Craig Kimbrel (left knee surgery on July 11) and struggling setup man Koji Uehara (placed on disabled list with right pectoral strain on July 20) have hampered the Red Sox since the All-Star break.
They are 8-8 over their last 16 games, and entering Monday only right-hander Brad Ziegler had an ERA under 3.00 among the healthy bodies in the bullpen.
Abad has allowed only two home runs in 34 innings and held left-handed batters to a .458 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, the fifth-lowest mark in the American League among relievers who have faced at least 50 lefties. He has a 3.58 ERA in 297 career major league appearances.
The Twins used Abad's roster spot for right-hander Jose Berrios, who was scheduled to start Monday at Cleveland.
The right-handed Light has a 2.32 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 31 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket. He made his major league debut April 26 and appeared in two games for Boston, allowing eight runs over 2 2/3 innings.
Selected 37th overall in the 2012 amateur draft by the Red Sox, the 25-year-old Light was originally drafted in 2009 by the Twins but did not sign out of high school.