The SF Giants made a trade ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline. Just not the type of trade some had hoped. Hard-throwing reliever Mauricio Llovera was shipped to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for pitching prospect Marques Johnson according to the team's transaction log.
SF Giants ship hard-throwing reliever to the Boston Red Sox
Llovera had been designated for assignment over the weekend to make room for Luke Jackson, who was activated from the injured list. A move had to be made one way or the other. Oddly enough, the Giants still have an open spot on the 40-man roster following Llovera's departure.
Rarely has this front office left a roster spot open for long. For Llovera, it marks the end of his two-year run with the organization. The veteran reliever made 17 appearances for the Giants last year, posting a 4.41 ERA with 20 strikeouts against eight walks.
He returned on a minor-league deal this past winter. Llovera had a 3.92 ERA in 17 outings with the Sacramento River Cats before receiving a brief promotion back to San Francisco. In that time, he allowed just one earned run in 5.1 innings.
The Giants received an interesting pitching prospect with California ties in Marques Johnson. Johnson was drafted by the Red Sox just last year in the 11th round out of Long Beach State.
The 23-year-old pitching prospect was used primarily as a reliever in college where he tallied a 3.30 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, and a 2.30 SO/W ratio in 23 appearances across two seasons. The high strikeout totals have continued into pro ball but the control still needs work. Johnson has a 6.55 ERA with 43 strikeouts against 24 walks in 34.1 innings in Low-A this season.
Johnson flashes a mid 90's fastball that generates good spin to go along with a quality slider and a developing changeup. The ability to throw three pitches could transition him into a starter down the road.
However, that has not been the case year as the Red Sox used him exclusively as a reliever as he continues to battle control issues. Johnson will report to the San Jose Giants.