Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said on Wednesday that a lefthanded reliever “was definitely something the team was missing last year”.
On Thursday, the Rockies took a small step to try to solve the problem by trading for left-wing Yoan Aybar in the Boston Red Sox minor league. He has been added to the 40-man squad in Colorado, which now has 38 players.
In exchange for Aybar, the Rockies exchanged minor league infielder Christian Koss, who was ranked the club’s 29th candidate by Baseball America.
Aybar, 23, was signed by the Red Sox from the Dominican Republic in July 2013 and began his professional career as an outfielder. Since being converted to pitcher in 2018, he has turned 3-4 with a 4.45 ERA in 61 relief appearances. He finished the 2019 season with a high A Salem, posting an 1.80 ERA in four games. His fastball has reached 100 mph and he struckout 11.1 batters per nine innings in 2019, although he also walked 6.5 times per nine. He didn’t pitch in 2020 because of the pandemic.
Koss, 22, was selected by the Rockies in the 12th round of the University of California-Irvine’s 2019 draft. He made a strong first impression with Grand Junction in the Pioneer League at rookie level in 2019. He was named MiLB.com’s Pioneer League Player of the Month in July and twice earned the league’s Player of the Week award . In 53 games for Grand Junction, Koss hit .332, with 11 home runs, 51 RBI’s, 10 stolen bases and a 1,050 OPS.