The Royals traded pitcher Wyatt Mills to the Boston Red Sox for 24-year-old right-hander Jacob Wallace. Mills had been designated for assignment earlier this week to make room for Ryan Yarbrough. To make room for Mills, Boston designated former Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer for assignment.
Wallace is a New England native, originally selected by the Rockies in the third round of the 2019 draft out of the University of Connecticut. They shipped him to Boston in 2020 for outfielder Kevin Pillar. He has worked almost exclusively as a reliever both in college and in the minors, and had a 3.81 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 56 2⁄3 innings at Double-A, but with 49 walks for a rate of 7.8 per-nine-innings. Fangraphs ranked him the #24 prospect in the Boston organization before the season, writing that he “brings plenty of heat, sitting 94-97 mph with a four-seam fastball that has scraped 99 at times.” He also features a slider with good spin rate and a “solid” changeup, but that control is a big issue with him.
Mills was acquired from Seattle in the Carlos Santana trade last June and pitched just 20 2⁄3 innings with the Royals, posting a 4.79 ERA with 20 strikeouts. The 27-year-old right-hander has a 6.21 ERA in 42 MLB innings in his career.
The Red Sox will now have 10 days to trade Hosmer or release him. Any team that acquires him will only have to pay him the league minimum with the Padres still paying most of the $39 million owed to him over the next three years of his contract. The 33-year-old former All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner hit .268/.334/.382 last year with eight home runs in 104 games and was traded mid-season from the Padres to the Red Sox after San Diego acquired first baseman Josh Bell. He originally signed an eight-year, $144 million contract with San Diego in 2018.