The Red Sox have signed free agent left-hander Matt Dermody to a minor-league contract for the 2023 season, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. The deal includes an invite to major-league spring training.
Dermody, 32, was originally selected by the Blue Jays in the 28th round of the 2013 amateur draft out of the University of Iowa. The former Hawkeye first broke in with Toronto in September 2016 and allowed four earned runs in five appearances (three innings) out of the bullpen.
In 23 relief outings the following year, Dermody pitched to a 4.43 ERA and 6.25 FIP with 15 strikeouts to 15 walks over 22 1/3 innings of work. He was outrighted off the Jays’ 40-man roster ahead of the 2018 campaign and spent the next two seasons with the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo before electing free agency in November 2019.
While there was no Minor League Baseball in 2020 on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dermody did pitch for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Constellation Energy League in Texas. He then had his contract purchased by the Cubs that August and made his return to the big-league return the following Month.
After just one outing with the Cubs, though, Dermody was designated for assignment and subsequently outrighted. He returned to Chicago on a minors pact that winter but was let go before the start of spring training. Dermody then took his talents to Japan and spent the 2021 season with the Saitama Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball.
Dermody leveraged his performance in Japan into another minor-league deal with the Cubs last February. The lefty posted a 3.74 ERA with 70 strikeouts to 18 walks in 20 appearances (13 starts) spanning 79 1/3 innings pitched for Triple-A Iowa before getting called up in early August. He appeared in one game for Chicago before being granted his release so that he could sign with the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization.
In eight starts for the Dinos, Dermody forged a 4.54 ERA and 3.92 FIP to go along with 37 strikeouts to 13 walks across 39 2/3 innings. Rather than pursuing other opportunities in South Korea, Dermody has apparently decided to return to affiliated ball in the United States.
Listed at 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, Dermody possesses a diverse pitch mix. In his lone outing for the Cubs against the Cardinals last summer, the southpaw threw seven four-seam fastballs, seven sliders, six changeups, four sinkers, and two curveballs. He averaged 92.4 mph with his four-seamer and induced three total swings-and-misses, per Baseball Savant.
Dermody, who turns 33 in July, has two minor-league options remaining and can provide the Red Sox with some flexibility in that respect if he makes the team out of spring training. That being said, it remains to be seen if Boston views Dermody as a starter or as a reliever moving forward.
After trading Josh Taylor to the Royals for infielder Adalberto Mondesi earlier Tuesday, the Red Sox currently only have one left-handed reliever with past major-league experience on their 40-man roster in Joely Rodriguez. Beyond that, Boston signed left-hander Ryan Sherriff to a minor-league deal over the weekend that comes with an invite to big-league spring training. Fellow southpaw and non-roster invitee Oddanier Mosqueda is also expected to be in the mix for a bullpen spot once camp begins next month.
(Picture of Matt Dermody: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)