FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox acquired right-hander Aaron Kurcz on Thursday as the player to player to be named later to complete their compensation for Theo Epstein, who became president of the Cubs during the offseason.
Another pitcher, Chris Carpenter, was already sent to the Red Sox as compensation for Epstein's departure from the Sox's organization.
A 10th-round pick in 2010, Kurcz was one of nine players to be drafted that year out of the College of Southern Nevada, the most noteworthy one being No. 1 overall pick Bryce Harper.
Kurcz is an undersized righty (5-foot-11) who's athleticism works very well for him on the mound. He's pitched well in his brief professional career, with a 2.98 ERA and an 11.4 K/9 ratio. He's both started and relieved so far, making 12 starts and 20 relief appearances in the Class A Advanced Florida State League in 2011.
His stuff and performance ticked up in the bullpen. He was throwing his fastball 91-95 mph late last season as a reliever and was touching 96 mph in Minor League camp this spring with the Cubs. He has a solid feel for a slider and changeup as well. Kurcz gets high marks for his makeup, a big reason why the Cubs likely felt comfortable with sending him to the Florida State League at age 20. His size and stuff may make more sense coming out of the bullpen long term, but the Red Sox will wait until they get him in their Minor League camp before determining his role this year.
-- Jonathan Mayo