BOSTON -- Dealing Dave Dombrowski struck again for the Red Sox late Monday night, acquiring highly-respected veteran second baseman in Ian Kinsler from the Angels for Minor League pitchers Ty Buttrey and Williams Jerez.
Announced shortly after a 2-1 win over the Phillies and roughly 16 hours before today's non-waiver Trade Deadline, Kinsler joins professional hitter Steve Pearce and hard-throwing starter Nathan Eovaldi as players the Red Sox -- MLB's best team (75-33) -- have acquired over the last month.
Kinsler is expected to become the primary second baseman for the Red Sox down the stretch. He is expected to arrive in time for Tuesday's game at Fenway Park against the Phillies. The Angels also sent cash considerations to Boston in the deal.
In Kinsler, the Red Sox now have the stability of an established regular at second base, a position that has been split between utility players Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt for most of the season.
"We're very happy to get Ian," said Dombrowski. "We also got cash considerations in the deal. Very happy. We were looking at trying to upgrade our club anyway we possibly can. He's been playing extremely well for an extended time period. He's been hitting well. He's a winning-type player. He's a very good defensive player, still has good instincts.
"We think he makes us a better ballclub, because he goes into second base and is in a spot where he can play basically every day. He's a good offensive player and a good defensive player, so we think he makes us a better club."
Dustin Pedroia, Boston's longest-tenured player, appeared in just three games this season in an unsuccessful return from major left knee surgery. If Pedroia plays at all for the remainder of 2018, it probably won't be until late in the regular season.
"Dustin is in a situation where I'm just not sure this year if he's coming back [this season], or if he does it's going to be late and you can't really count on it once you get past July 31," said Dombrowski. "I mean, Ian's a really good player and he gives us a lot of the same things, maybe a little bit different. A little more power. Maybe not as much average."
Pedroia and Kinsler were teammates in college at Arizona State, where Pedroia took over Kinsler's starting shortstop spot in 2002. Kinsler then transferred to Missouri the following year.
With Rafael Devers (left hamstring) on the disabled list, Nunez will be the primary third baseman for now, with Holt backing up all around the infield.
Dombrowski also traded for Kinsler when he was with the Tigers, reeling him in from the Rangers on Nov. 20, 2013, for Prince Fielder. David Price fondly recalls playing with Kinsler for the Tigers in 2014-15, and looks forward to reuniting with him.
"He's the closest teammate I've ever had to Dustin Pedroia," said Price. "He brings that intensity, that fire every single day. He's a gamer. He'll make any team better."
At the age of 36, Kinsler isn't quite the offensive force he was during his prime, but the Red Sox still like the player they are getting.
Kinsler is batting .239 with a career-low .710 OPS in 91 games this season, but he has compiled an .860 OPS in July. Kinsler's defense has allowed him to keep providing value, however, as he comes to the Red Sox with a 2.0 wins above replacement (WAR) rating, per FanGraphs.
"Well he's a championship, winning-type player," Dombrowski said. "He does everything he possibly can. He does the little things. He's a gamer, but he does a lot of things well."
Dombrowski didn't rule out making another deal before the Deadline, but he wasn't counting on it either.
"I'm not sure. If I was telling you right now, it probably would come out of the blue more so," Dombrowski said. "We still have a lot of conversations we've had with clubs, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was the last thing we did. I know a lot of people keep talking about our bullpen. We like a lot of things about our bullpen. It's been pitching well. Again, we're open-minded, but we're also in a spot where who's available, who's not available, do they make us better? We'll see. A lot of things come out of the blue the last day."
Not only do the Red Sox have a six-game lead in the American League East, but they have a team that's been fortified nicely for the stretch run.
"Well, we made three moves," said Dombrowski. "We're trying to get a little better. We have a good club. It's apparent. They're a good team, they play well, they do a lot of things well, but if you can get yourself a little bit better this time of year, you're doing everything you possibly can to try and win it, so that's what we've been doing. And we think those three players make us a little bit better and give us an opportunity to hopefully bring home a championship, which we're trying to do."
Buttrey, 25, was 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP over 32 relief appearances with Triple-A Pawtucket this season, while Jerez was 2-1 for Pawtucket with a 3.68 ERA and 1.38 WHIP across 33 bullpen outings. Buttrey was ranked the Red Sox's No. 19 prospect according to MLB Pipeline while Jerez was their No. 23 prospect.