The Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox completed a two-player trade today, as the Braves have acquired minor-league right-handed pitcher Aaron Kurcz in exchange for right-handed pitcher Anthony Varvaro and cash considerations.
Kurcz, 24, posted a 2.14 ERA in 34 appearances out of the bullpen last season for the Portland Sea Dogs, Boston's Double-A affiliate. He logged 54 strikeouts over 42 innings while posting a 3-2 record and converting three of six save opportunities. Kurcz opened the 2014 campaign by allowing five earned runs in his first three outings, then went on to post a 1.15 ERA and a .194 opponents' batting average over his final 31 appearances. In that span, he allowed just five earned runs, while striking out 49 batters in 39 innings.
Kurcz's overall career record stands at 13-11 with a 2.81 ERA and 265 strikeouts in 202 innings. Spanning 121 minor league games over four seasons, he has averaged 1.3 strikeouts per inning, while holding opponents to a .209 batting average. The six-foot, 175-pounder underwent "Tommy John" surgery on his right elbow in February 2013.
Originally selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 10th round of the 2010 June free agent draft out of the College of Southern Nevada (Community College), Kurcz played two seasons in the Cubs' farm system before being traded to the Red Sox in March 2012. He also attended the United States Air Force where he was a member of the baseball team.
Varvaro, 30, has pitched parts of five seasons in the major leagues, including the last four with the Braves. He went 3-3 with a 2.63 ERA in 61 appearances last season.