SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies lessened their crowded catching situation by trading prospect Michael McKenry to the Red Sox on Tuesday for right-handed reliever Daniel Turpen, who pitched in Double-A for the Giants and Red Sox last year, according to multiple media reports.
McKenry, 26, hit .265 at Triple-A Colorado Springs last year and appeared in six games with the Rockies at the end of last season to make his Major League debut. Without the move, the Rockies could have had three catchers at the Triple-A level -- McKenry, Jordan Pacheco and possibly the catcher who didn't win the backup job behind Chris Iannetta.
The Rockies have Jose Morales and Matt Pagnozzi still in Major League camp. With a second spot clear in Triple-A, the Rockies could easily place Pagnozzi, who is under a Minor League contract, at Colorado Springs. Morales is out of Minor League options and would have to be exposed to other teams via waivers to be sent to Triple-A.
By dealing McKenry, the Rockies open a spot on their 40-man Major League roster. They can use it to add first baseman Jason Giambi, who is camp under a Minor League contract, without placing injured pitcher Aaron Cook (fractured right ring finger) on the 60-day disabled list. The Rockies also could reserve that spot for another player.
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Turpen, 24, an eighth-round Giants pick in 2007, was selected by the Yankees in the Rule 5 Draft during the winter, but was returned to the Red Sox. Turpen fashioned a combined 4.50 ERA in 69 relief innings in Double-A for the Giants' and Red Sox's organizations in 2010. The Red Sox acquired Turpen when they sent righty reliever Ramon Ramirez to the Giants last season.
Turpen would likely join the bullpen at Doubel-A Tulsa.