The Red Sox have serious interest in free-agent right-hander Jake Odorizzi, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
Odorizzi, who turns 31 in March, is coming off a 2020 campaign in which he posted a 6.59 ERA and 6.12 FIP, though he only made four starts and pitched 13 2/3 innings on account of three separate injured list stints.
The first of those three stints lasted from July 23 until August 8 due to a right intercostal strain, the second lasted from August 22 until September 16 due to a chest contusion, and the third lasted from September 18 through the end of the season due to a right middle finger blister.
Prior to this past season, Odorizzi earned himself his first career All-Star nod in 2019 thanks in part to putting up a 3.50 ERA and .671 OPS against over 30 starts and 159 innings of work. Minnesota went 21-9 in games started by the Illinois native.
As mentioned by Feinsand in the tweet above, Odorizzi first jumped on to the scene with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013 after being part of the trade that sent James Shields and Wade Davis to the Kansas City Royals the previous winter.
Having said that, it’s likely that Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom played a role in the Rays acquiring Odorizzi, among others, when he was still working under Andrew Friedman in Tampa Bay.
In his five seasons with the Rays (2013-2017), Odorizzi made 127 appearances (124 starts) spanning 698 total frames pitched.
Over that rather large sample size, the former first-round draft pick of the Royals posted an ERA of 3.82, a SIERA of 4.13, and an xFIP of 4.33. He was traded by Tampa Bay to Minnesota in exchange for minor-league infielder Jermaine Palacios shortly before the start of the 2018 season.
Perhaps reuniting with a familiar face in Bloom would benefit Odorizzi as he looks to bounce back in 2021 and re-establish his value headed into next winter.
We will have to wait and see on that, but it is worth mentioning that the Red Sox were able to sign another former Rays hurler in Matt Andriese earlier last month partly due to the fact that he had already established a relationship with Bloom when the two were in Tampa Bay.
(Top picture of Odorizzi: Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)