The Royals have traded infielder Adalberto Mondesi and a player to be named later to the Red Sox for pitcher Josh Taylor, according to MLB.com reporter Mark Feinsand. Taylor is a 29-year-old left-hander who had a 3.40 ERA with 11.3 strikeouts-per-nine innings in 47 2⁄3 innings for Boston in 2021, but missed all of last season with back issues.
Taylor was an undrafted free agent out of Division II Georgia College, but signed with the Phillies. He was traded to the Diamondbacks organization before the Red Sox acquired him 2018. He made his MLB debut in 2019 with a solid 3.04 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 47 1⁄3 innings. He features a fastball that sits around 94-95 mph, as well as a slider and sinker. He has been pretty dominant against lefty hitters with an opponent’s line of .174/.249/.230 and a 30 percent strikeout rate. Taylor is under club control through 2025 and will earn $1.025 million this year.
Mondesi was one of the most promising prospects in the Royals organization for years with blazing speed and terrific raw power. But injuries and inconsistency kept him from reaching his full potential, and he hit just .244/.280/.408 in 1,366 plate appearances over parts of seven seasons with the Royals. The 27-year-old switch-hitter appeared in just 15 games last year due to an ACL injury in his knee, and he played in just 35 games in 2021 with oblique injuries. Boston needs a shortstop after Trevor Story underwent elbow surgery that will keep him out for most of 2023, and rumors surfaced of their interest earlier this month.
The acquisition of Taylor gives the Royals another lefty in their pen to go with Amir Garrett, Anthony Misieiwicz, and Richard Lovelady. The Royals also acquired lefty Evan Sisk in a trade with the Twins for outfielder Michael A. Taylor yesterday.