The Boston Red Sox selected their player to be named later for Theo Epstein (together with Chris Carpenter, whom they’ve already received), and it’s relief pitching prospect Aaron Kurcz.
I want to make sure to properly contextualize this so I don’t overreact, but I’m a tad bummed. Kurcz, 21, is almost exclusively a relief prospect, which limits his value. But, he’s been quite a good one – he sported a 3.28 ERA and a 91/34 K/BB ratio in 82.1 innings last year at High A Daytona. He cranks it up into the mid-90s on a good day, despite his relatively small stature.
Still, pulling back the tears, Kurcz has generally been left off of the Cubs’ top 25/30 prospect lists for 2012 (or is found at the very end), and is a kid that, while I’m sure the Cubs are unhappy to lose, the team can do without.
All that now remains in the Theo deal is for the Cubs to get a player back from the Red Sox, who is expected to be of a lesser caliber than Kurcz. Once that’s settled, we can fully evaluate the process and the final deal. Of course the Cubs still come out winners (that is to say, I’d rather have Epstein than Carpenter and Kurcz (no offense, gents)), and, in sum, I think the price is not totally unfair. A touch high? Yes. But the Red Sox were exceptionally good at being a squeaky wheel.
The Cubs also still owe compensation to the Padres for hiring Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod, which should be settled at some point soon.