Red Sox Acquire Trey Wingenter

MLB Trade Rumors

9:19PM: Wingenter has an assignment clause in his contract, according to Chris Cotillo of MassLive, and as such will need to be added to the club’s 40-man roster in the coming days. No corresponding move has been announced by the Red Sox to this point.

8:36PM: The Red Sox have acquired right-hander Trey Wingenter from the Tigers in exchange for minor league righty CJ Weins per an announcement from both clubs. Wingenter was in the Tigers organization on a minor league deal and does not need to be immediately added to the club’s 40-man roster.

Wingenter, 30, has pitched in parts of three MLB seasons and most recently appeared in the majors as a member of the Tigers last year. The right-hander was a 17th-round pick by the Padres in the 2017 draft and made his debut with the club in 2018. Over two seasons with San Diego, the righty posted a lackluster 5.14 ERA in 70 innings of work, although his peripheral numbers suggested a stronger underlying performance that those run prevention numbers may have suggested. The righty struck out a whopping 33.1% of batters faced during his time with the Padres, and that was enough to garner him a 3.79 FIP despite a 13% walk rate and a 12.7% home run to fly ball ratio that both left something to be desired.

The righty wouldn’t resurface at the big league level until 2023, as a member of the Tigers. His time in Detroit went similarly to his time in San Diego, as he posted a lackluster 5.82 ERA while a big strikeout rate (28.9% in 17 innings) outweighed his elevated walk rate (9.2%) and proclivity towards home runs enough to give him solid peripheral numbers. One noticeable change from his time with the Padres was his groundball rate, however. Wingenter didn’t garner many grounders during his time with the Padres, inducing them at only a 35.7% clip, but that rate shot up 43.2% with the Tigers.

Wingenter ended up remaining with Detroit entering the 2024 campaign after re-signing with the club on a fresh minor league deal this past winter. While he hasn’t pitched for the club in the majors this season, he’s posted generally impressive numbers at the Triple-A level with a 3.31 ERA in 32 2/3 innings of work this year. He’s paired those strong results with his typical bat-missing stuff, as he’s struck out 32.9% of batters faced at the level this year while walking 11.6%. Notably, he’s continued to show improvement in terms of his batted ball profile, as he’s induced grounders at a strong 48% clip this season in Triple-A.

In heading to Boston, Wingenter joins a stockpile of interesting bullpen arms the club has on non-roster deals as potential depth options behind their current group. With that being said, it’s worth noting that much of that group (such as Lucas Luetge and Joely Rodriguez) throw from the left side, meaning Wingenter could be the club’s top non-roster depth option from the right side. With Chris Martin and Liam Hendriks both currently on the injured list, it’s at least plausible that the loss of one of Kenley Jansen, Justin Slaten, Greg Weissert, or Zack Kelly could lead the Red Sox to turn to Wingenter over either Alex Speas or Isaiah Campbell, both of whom are currently at the Triple-A level but already occupy spots on the 40-man roster. It’s also possible that the club could be intrigued enough by Wingenter’s high strikeout rates to give him a more immediate look in the majors, though such a move would require selecting him to the club’s 40-man roster.

In exchange for adding Wingenter to their depth chart, the Red Sox are giving up Weins. The 23-year-old was Boston’s sixth-round pick in the 2023 draft and pitched just one inning in rookie ball last year before being promoted to Single-A to start the 2024 campaign. In 24 1/3 innings of work with the club’s affiliate in Salem this year, Weins has posted a lackluster 4.81 ERA with a solid 26.6% strikeout rate but a worrisome 14.7% walk rate. Those solid strikeout numbers give reason for hope that the righty could be a valuable piece of a big league bullpen someday if he can work out his control issues, and the Tigers now figure to work towards guiding Weins toward that goal going forward.

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