The Red Sox and Padres, two of the more active teams in baseball this winter, have made a trade that sends catcher Ryan Hanigan to Boston and third baseman Will Middlebrooks to San Diego. The trade makes sense, as Boston had a surplus of infielders, and San Diego had a surplus of catchers, even after trading away Yasmani Grandal.
Now 34 years old, Hanigan was signed back in 2002 by the Reds and spent his entire professional career with the organization until he was traded to the Rays a little over a year ago in the three-team trade that also sent Heath Bell to Tampa. He was once again dealt in a three-team trade this winter—the big one that sent Wil Myers to San Diego. For his career, Hanigan is a .256/.353/.341 hitter, and his best seasons ranked a little over 2.0 fWAR because he received a boost for his defense.
Middlebrooks is still just 26 years old but is two years removed from his impressive major league debut. In 286 plate appearances with the Red Sox in 2012, he hit .288/.325/.509 with 17 home runs and a 122 wRC+, but he split time between the minors and majors in 2013 and 2014 and struggled when he was with the big league club. With Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval now on the Red Sox and Xander Bogaerts very much still there, the odds of Middlebrooks getting playing time in Boston were pretty slim.