A Major League source said tonight the Red Sox were close to completing a trade for lefthanded reliever Franklin Morales of the Rockies
The 25-year-old has a 3.86 ERA in 14 appearances this season. Lefthanders have hit .185 against him in 135 career at-bats. Morales has walked 8 in 14 innings with 11 strikeouts.
It was uncertain at the moment whether Morales would be added to the major league roster. Morales is 7-11 with a 4.83 ERA over parts of five seasons with 10 saves. Morales has started 15 games in his career but none since 2009.
UPDATE, 10:43 p.m.: The trade is done. The Rockies will receive a player to be named later or cash. Hideki Okajima has been designated for assignment.
Okajima had a 4.32 ERA in seven appearances. He had been used sparingly since being called up on April 18. With Rich Hill pitching well, Okajima had no role. Morales could become the long reliever with Alfredo Aceves and Tim Wakefield now in the rotation.
UPDATE, 11:05 p.m.: Here’s what the Rockies release said about Morales:
Morales, 25, was originally signed by Colorado as a non-drafted free agent on November 13, 2002 out of Guarico, VZ as a 16 year-old. Morales was a member of the Rockies Opening Day roster for the fourth straight season in 2011. He is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA (14.0 ip, 6 er), 10 hits, 8 walks and 11 strikeouts in 14 relief appearances this season for Colorado.
Morales has spent time both in the Majors with Colorado and in Triple-A Colorado Springs each of the last four seasons. The lefthander is 7-11 with 10 saves (14 opportunities), a 4.83 ERA (147.1 ip, 79 er), 86 walks and 114 strikeouts in 102 career games/15 starts in the Majors with Colorado.
Morales was originally brought to the majors as a starter and made 13 starts from 2007-08. He has pitched strictly in relief each of the last two seasons.
Globe sources said the Rays also were trying to land Morales before the Red Sox made the deal. They have until after the season to send the Rockies a player or cash.