The Red Sox have agreed to terms on a minor-league contract with free agent right-hander Jake Faria, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. The deal comes with an invite to major-league spring training and a salary of $735,000 if Faria makes Boston’s active roster.
Faria, 29, spent part of the 2022 season in the Twins organization. The righty posted a 7.48 ERA and 6.55 FIP with 39 strikeouts to 27 walks in 12 appearances (nine starts) spanning 43 1/3 innings of work for Triple-A St. Paul before getting released by the Saints in late June.
A native of California, Faria was originally selected by the Rays in the 10th round of the 2011 amateur draft out of Richard Gahr High School. At that time, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom worked in Tampa Bay’s front office, so there is a connection there.
Faria was considered to be one of the top pitching prospects in the Rays’ farm system prior to making his big-league debut at the age of 23 in June 2017. He produced a 3.43 ERA in 16 outings (14 starts) as a rookie, but has not been able to replicate that same kind of success since then.
After pitching to a 6.75 ERA in 2018, Faria appeared to bounce back by putting up solid numbers (2.75 ERA) out of the Rays bullpen to begin the 2019 campaign. He was then traded to the Brewers that July in exchange for veteran slugger Jesus Aguilar.
Faria’s stint in Milwaukee proved to be a short one. He got shelled for 11 earned runs in 8 2/3 innings of relief (11.42 ERA) to close out the 2019 season and — after being outrighted off their 40-man roster — was released by the Brewers the following September.
Two months later, Faria signed a minors pact with the Angels. He started out the 2021 season with Los Angeles’ Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City but was cut loose by the club that June, only to be scooped up the Diamondbacks shortly thereafter.
Faria made his return to the big-league mound on June 19 and put up a 5.51 ERA (4.58 FIP) with 32 strikeouts to 13 walks in 23 appearances (three starts, 32 2/3 innings) for Arizona. He was designated for assignment exactly five months after making his Diamondbacks debut and elected to become a free agent after clearing waivers.
So, all told, Faria owns a lifetime 4.70 ERA (4.74 FIP) to go along with 185 strikeouts to 89 walks in 72 career major-league outings (29 starts, 203 innings) between the Rays, Brewers, and Diamondbacks. At the Triple-A level, he owns a career 4.49 ERA with 343 punchouts to 140 walks over 303 cumulative frames.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Faria operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a four-seam fastball, a splitter, a curveball, and a slider, per Baseball Savant. It remains to be seen if the Red Sox envision Faria as a starter or reliever moving forward, but he will nonetheless have a chance to compete for a spot on the club’s Opening Day roster beginning later this month.
At the very least, Faria — who turns 30 in July — should provide Boston with some multi-inning, swingman-like depth at Triple-A Worcester this season. He becomes the 22nd player the Red Sox have extended a spring training invite to, joining fellow free agent additions like Matt Dermody, Norwith Gudino, and Ryan Sherriff.
(Picture of Jake Faria: Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)