The Boston Red Sox have selected the contracts of minor league relievers Kyle Martin and Luis Ysla to the 40 man roster for the purpose of protecting them from the Rule 5 draft. Both relievers are expected to be in contention for a role with the Red Sox this season and will be in camp for spring training.
Martin, 25, has been a career minor league reliever since being selected in the 9th round of the 2013 MLB Draft. The 6-foot-7 Texan had a very effective year in AAA Pawtucket last season, going 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA in his first full season at the AAA level. Martin possesses an average fastball but does have a quality slider at his disposal.
Ysla, 24, was originally acquired by the Red Sox from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for outfielder Alejandro De Aza. Ysla spent the majority of this past season at AA Portland, going 2-5 with a 4.07 ERA. Ysla also pitched one scoreless inning at AAA Pawtucket.
Ysla’s control has always been a problem, but his fastball tops out at 97-98 mph and could become a dominant pitch in the major leagues should his arm slot and follow through be refined.
The Red Sox will continue to look for more bullpen arms this offseason, but both Martin and Ysla look like promising young arms that could fill a role next season. The Red Sox have also elected to not protect some notable prospects like catcher Jake Romanski, reliever Jamie Callahan and starter Justin Haley. This year’s Rule 5 draft will occur at the Winter Meetings.