Red Sox, Josh Taylor avoid arbitration by agreeing to $1.025 million deal for 2023 season

The Red Sox and left-hander Josh Taylor have agreed to terms on a one-year contract for the 2023 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration, the club announced earlier Thursday afternoon. The deal is worth $1.025 million, per Robert Murray of FanSided.

Taylor, who turns 30 in March, did not appear in a game at the major-league level in 2022 due to a low back strain that dates back to the end of the 2021 regular season. The 29-year-old was sent out on several minor-league rehab assignments, but he struggled to a 6.00 ERA in 13 outings (12 innings) between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester before being shut down from throwing in mid-July.

It was certainly a disappointing development for Taylor, as the lefty was coming off an impressive 2021 campaign in which he posted a 3.40 ERA and 2.83 FIP with 60 strikeouts to 23 walks over 61 relief appearances spanning 47 2/3 innings of work. His 34 percent whiff rate ranked in the 92nd percentile of all big-league pitchers that year.

Despite spending the entirety of the 2022 season on the injured list, the Red Sox still tendered Taylor a contract in November. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound southpaw is entering his second season of arbitration eligibility and will receive the exact same salary ($1.025 million) in 2023 as he did last year. He is currently slated to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2025 campaign.

If healthy come Opening Day, Taylor figures to join free agent addition Joely Rodriguez as the two primary left-handed relievers available for Alex Cora out of the Boston bullpen to start the season.

With Taylor locked in for 2023, the Red Sox have five remaining players who are eligible for salary arbitration in right-handers Ryan Brasier and Nick Pivetta, catcher Reese McGuire, infielder Christian Arroyo, and outfielder Alex Verdugo. The deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange salary figures is Friday.

(Picture of Josh Taylor: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

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Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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