BOSTON -- The Red Sox added a proven performer to help against left-handed pitching, acquiring infielder Aaron Hill and cash from the Brewers in exchange for two Minor Leaguers in a trade announced on Thursday.
With the Red Sox, Hill's primary role will likely be to start at third base against left-handed pitching. Travis Shaw, Boston's primary third baseman, is hitting .211 with two homers and a .620 OPS against lefties. He is much better against righties, hitting .294 with seven homers and an .856 OPS.
Right-handed pitcher Aaron Wilkerson and infielder Wendell Rijo are the Minor Leaguers going to the Brewers.
Hill has gotten regular at-bats for the Brewers this season, hitting .283 with 11 doubles, eight home runs and 29 RBIs in 78 games. After hitting .169/.208/.246 in April, Hill slashed .318/.403/.471 in May and June, with 14 of his 17 extra-base hits.
"We've been looking for a right-handed-hitting infielder that can play third base for really a while," Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. "We've been a little vulnerable to left-handed pitching. We felt it would strengthen us. Of course, he's played almost every day. He has the capabilities of playing every day. But we looked at him more to complement the players we have."
In addition to playing third, Hill can also give Dustin Pedroia a rest when needed at second or spot David Ortiz at designated hitter against a tough lefty. Hill gives manager John Farrell a nice pinch-hitting option when necessary, as well.
"When I talked to him on the phone, he was very happy to be with the organization," Dombrowski said. "He asked me the same question [about playing time]. I said, 'I think we have a good club, we're in a position we're trying to win this thing. We think you help make us better. You're a good player and have been through pennant races before. When it gets to playing time, you can direct that to John Farrell.' I know John spoke to him on the phone, they had a good conversation."
In fact, Hill played for Farrell in Toronto in 2011. Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo and third-base coach Brian Butterfield were also on the staff there.
"They liked him a great deal. Butter knew him very well, says he's quite a competitor," Dombrowski said.
Shaw suffered a left foot contusion in Wednesday night's game and is day-to-day. Though that could enable Hill to make his Boston debut on Friday against Rays right-hander Chris Archer, Dombrowski said the minor injury had nothing to do with the trade.
Hill is set to earn about $6 million for the rest of the season. The Brewers will pay some of that remaining salary, while the D-backs are also paying more than half that total as a result of terms of a January trade that sent Hill to Milwaukee.
The Red Sox designated for assignment outfielder Ryan LaMarre to clear room for Hill on the 40-man roster.
Wilkerson, 27, has split the season between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket, going 6-3 with a 2.14 ERA.
"Even though we like some of his abilities, I don't think we can count on him to step forward and help us," said Dombrowski.
Rijo, 20, was ranked as Boston's No. 17 prospect by MLBPipeline.com. He has played with Class A Advanced Salem and Portland this year.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.