I've been more critical of Rick Hahn than most people, but this actually was a pretty good piece of GM'ing.
Swarzak was a nonroster free-agent signing in the spring. He made the club out of camp and has surprised everyone with a career-best season. He's 4-3 with a 2.23 ERA and 1.034 WHIP in 41 appearances this year, plus his first career save in Monday's win over the Cubs.
The right-hander went from being an afterthought at the start of the season to being a reliever who can be trusted in high-leverage situations.
Will that last?
Probably not. Swarzak's career ERA is 4.31. His career WHIP is 1.345. He's pitching well above career norms at age 31, and he's a free agent at the end of the season. He has "sell high, sell now" written all over him. That's what the Sox did.
I'm not going to sit here and tout Cordell as some sort of future All-Star, but he's close to major league ready, and could be useful in some role.
The 25-year-old was an 11th-round pick of the Texas Rangers in 2013. He joined the Milwaukee organization last year as part of the Jonathon Lucroy deal. He was hitting .284/.349/.506 with 10 homers and 45 RBIs in 68 games with Triple-A Colorado Springs this year.
In the minor leagues, Cordell has played all three outfield spots, as well as some first base and third base. Unlike a lot of the other recent Sox acquisitions, we could see him on the big club this year -- especially if veteran left fielder Melky Cabrera is the next to go as part of this sell-off.
The bottom line is this: When your GM turns a journeyman reliever such as Swarzak into a position player that has a chance to be useful, you can't complain. Sometimes, the small deals are just as crucial as the big ones.
We'll see how Cordell works out.
In the meantime, the Sox have activated right-hander Jake Petricka from the 10-day disabled list to take Swarzak's place on the 25-man roster.