Red Sox agree to one-year, $7 million deal with outfielder Adam Duvall

The Red Sox and free agent outfielder Adam Duvall have agreed to terms on a one-year contract for the 2023 season, as was first reported by Craig Mish of the Miami Herald.

According to Mish, Duvall will receive a base salary of $7 million in 2023 and will have the chance to earn an additional $3 million in performance bonuses. Those bonuses are based on number of plate appearances and could take the total value of the deal up to $10 million, per’s Chris Cotillo.

Duvall, 34, batted .213/.276/.401 with 16 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs, 36 RBIs, 39 runs scored, 21 walks, and 101 strikeouts in 86 games (315 plate appearances) with the Braves last year. The right-handed hitter was shut down in July due to a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist that ultimately required season-ending surgery.

A native of Kentucky, Duvall was originally selected by the Giants in the 11th round of the 2010 amateur draft out of the University of Louisville. He broke in with San Francisco in 2014 and was then traded to the Reds in a package for veteran starter Mike Leake the following July.

With Cincinnati, Duvall was able to establish himself as a power threat from the right side of the plate. He hit 33 home runs and collected 103 RBIs in the process of being named to his first All-Star team in 2016 and then followed that up by putting together a 31-homer, 99-RBI campaign in 2017.

After a tough start to the 2018 season, the Reds traded Duvall to the Braves that July. He spent the next 2 1/2 years with Atlanta before becoming a free agent for the first time and signing a one-year deal with the Marlins in February 2021. Duvall bounced back in Miami and was then dealt back to Atlanta ahead of the trade deadline that year.

In 146 combined games between the Marlins and Braves in 2021, Duvall slashed .228/.281/.491 with 17 doubles, two triples, a career-high 38 home runs, a National League-best 113 RBIs, 67 runs scored, five stolen bases, 35 walks, and 174 strikeouts across 555 total trips to the plate. He also helped Atlanta win a World Series title that fall and took home his first Gold Glove Award for his defensive work in right field.

All told, Duvall is a lifetime .230/.289/.465 hitter with 163 career homers under his belt in 830 games with the Giants, Reds, Braves, and Marlins. In postseason play, Duvall owns a career line of .200/.247/.400 with five homers and 18 runs driven in across 27 total games. He has the kind of swing that could play well at Fenway Park, where he has gone 6-for-18 (.333) in his career with four home runs in four games. Three of those long balls came in the same contest during the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

With Xander Bogaerts opting to sign with the Padres in free agency and Trevor Story slated to miss the start of the 2022 season after undergoing right elbow surgery earlier this month, the Red Sox needed to inject some power back into a lineup that hit the seventh-fewest home runs (155) in the American League last year.

While the absences of both Bogaerts and Story made it seem as though the Red Sox would pursue middle infield help before the start of spring training, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. have instead elected to solidify their outfield mix. With Duvall expected to regularly man center field alongside fellow free agent signee Masataka Yoshida in left and Alex Verdugo in right, Enrique Hernandez seems primed to move back to the infield after serving as Boston’s everyday center fielder for the better part of the last two seasons.

For his part, Duvall has prior experience at all three outfield positions. Last year, the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder logged 237 1/3 innings in left, 382 innings in center, and 90 innings in right. As far as the metrics are concerned, Duvall ranked in the 88th percentile of all big-league outfielders in outs above average (+5). He also ranked in the 79th percentile in arm strength (averaged 89.1 mph on his throws), the 74th percentile in outfield jump, and the 67th percentile in sprint speed, per Baseball Savant.

The Red Sox, per Cotillo, are fully confident in Duvall’s ability to play center field. Depending on what Boston does between now and Opening Day, Hernandez and Verdugo represent possible fallback options down the line. The same can be said for Jarren Duran and Rob Refsnyder as well.

Duvall, who turns 35 in September, becomes the seventh major-league free agent addition the Red Sox have made this winter, joining the likes of starter Corey Kluber, relievers Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin, and Joely Rodriguez, infielder/designated hitter Justin Turner, and Yoshida. Of these seven, only Yoshida received more than two guaranteed years on his deal.

As currently constructed, the Red Sox’ 40-man roster is at full capacity. So they will have to clear a spot for Duvall once he passes his physical and his signing can be made official.

(Picture of Adam Duvall: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)


Red Sox agree to one-year deal with two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber

The Red Sox have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent right-hander Corey Kluber, as was first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The deal, which is pending a physical, comes with a club option for 2024 as well.

According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Kluber will earn $10 million in 2023. Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that the option is worth $11 million and the deal includes additional incentive bonuses.

Per’s Chris Cotillo, Kluber’s 2023 salary can increase to $10.5 million if he makes 20 starts, $11.25 million if he makes 25 starts, and $12 million if he makes 30 or more starts next season. The value of his option for 2024, which does not come with a buyout, increases to $11.5 million if he makes 20 starts, $12.25 million if he makes 25 starts, and $13 million if he makes 30 starts.

“The contract then stipulates that those bonuses carry over to 2024 if the option is exercised,” Cotillo wrote on Wednesday. “Kluber would be due the same bonuses based on games started in 2024 (maxing out at $2 million).”

All told, Kluber’s deal with the Red Sox can max out at $27 million over two years ($12 million in 2023 and $15 million in 2024) if he makes 30-plus starts in 2023, has his option picked up, and then makes 30 or more starts again in 2024.

Kluber, who turns 37 in April, spent the 2022 season with the Rays after signing a one-year, $8 million pact with the club last December. In 31 starts for Tampa Bay, the veteran righty posted a 4.34 ERA — but much more respectable 3.57 FIP — with 139 strikeouts to 21 walks over 164 innings of work.

The Red Sox have been interested in signing Kluber in each of the last two offseasons but were ultimately unable to secure his services. Prior to his one season with the Rays, Kluber spent the 2021 campaign with the Yankees. This time around, however, Boston was able to land one of its top targets one day after fellow starters Nathan Eovaldi and Rich Hill agreed to deals with the Rangers and Pirates, respectively.

Kluber, who lives in Winchester, Mass. (where his wife, Amanda, is from) during the winter, is now slated to join a starting rotation mix in Boston that already consists of Brayan Bello, Chris Sale, Garrett Whitlock, James Paxton, Nick Pivetta, and possibly even Tanner Houck heading into the 2023 season. While the Red Sox were unable to bring back Eovaldi, they were previously interested in a reunion with Michael Wacha, though the addition of Kluber may have altered those plans.

A former fourth-round draft pick of the Padres coming out of Stetson University (DeLand, Fla.) in 2007, Kluber was traded to the Guardians in 2010 and first broke in with Cleveland the following September. As part of a nine-year tenure with that franchise, Kluber made three All-Star teams and won the American League Cy Young Award in 2014 and 2017.

The Guardians traded Kluber to the Rangers in Dec. 2019. He was limited to just one start with Texas during the COVID-shortened 2020 season due to a tear in his right teres muscle. Kluber left the Rangers for the Yankees last January and has since forged a 4.17 ERA (3.66 FIP) over 47 starts (244 innings) in his short stays in the Bronx and St. Petersburg.

For his big-league career, which spans 12 seasons and four teams (Cleveland, Texas, New York, and Tampa Bay), Kluber owns a lifetime 3.31 ERA and 3.09 FIP to go along with 1,683 strikeouts to 347 walks across 256 appearances (251 starts) spanning 1,586 2/3 innings pitched. He has also produced a 4.02 ERA in 47 career postseason innings.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Kluber operates with a five-pitch mix that consists of a mid-80s cutter, a low-80s curveball, a high-80s sinker, a low-80s changeup, and a high-80s four-seam fastball. This past season, he ranked in the 99th percentile of the league in walk rate (3.1 percent) and the 96th percentile in chase rate (35.7 percent), per Baseball Savant.

Kluber becomes the sixth major-league free agent the Red Sox have signed so far this winter, joining the likes of relievers Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin, and Joely Rodriguez, outfielder Masataka Yoshida, and infielder/designated hitter Justin Turner. As noted by Cotillo, Kluber, Jansen, Martin, and Turner are all 35 years of age or older.

As things stand now, Boston’s 40-man roster is currently at full capacity. The signings of Kluber and Turner have yet to be made official, so chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. will need to clear at least two spots before those announcements can be made.

(Picture of Corey Kluber: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Former Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez agrees to one-year, $10 million deal with Dodgers, per report

Red Sox free agent J.D. Martinez has agreed to a one-year contract with the Dodgers, according to FanSided’s Robert Murray. The New York Post’s Jon Heyman reports that Martinez will receive $10 million in 2023.

Martinez, 35, spent the last five seasons with the Red Sox after originally signing a five-year, $110 million deal with Boston in February 2018. Then-president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wanted to inject some life into a lineup that scored the sixth-most runs in the American League in 2017 and he got exactly that in Martinez, who he already knew from his days with the Tigers.

In his debut season with the Sox, Martinez made a strong first impression by batting .330/.402/.629 with 37 doubles, two triples, 43 home runs, a league-leading 130 RBIs, 111 runs scored, six stolen bases, 69 walks, and 146 strikeouts over 150 games (649 plate appearances). He played a key role in helping Boston cap off a historic campaign with a World Series title and became the first player to ever receive two Silver Slugger Awards at multiple positions (designated hitter and outfielder) in the same season.

Martinez built off the success he enjoyed in 2018 by putting together another impressive season at the plate in 2019. The veteran slugger slashed .304/.383/.557 with 33 doubles, two triples, 36 homers, 105 RBIs, 98 runs scored, two stolen bases, 72 walks, and 138 strikeouts across 146 games (657 plate appearances). He finished 21st in AL MVP voting and elected not to exercise the first of three opt-outs in his contract that winter.

The COVID-shortened 2020 season was one to forget for Martinez, whose usual in-game routine of watching film was disrupted by Major League Baseball’s virus-related dugout protocols. The right-handed hitter struggled to the tune of a .213/.291/.389 line with 16 doubles, seven homers, 27 RBIs, 22 runs scored, one stolen base, 22 walks, and 59 strikeouts over 54 games (237 plate appearances). It came as no surprise when he once again decided against opting out of his deal that November.

Martinez, like the Red Sox, bounced back last season. In the process of being named an All-Star for the third time in four years with Boston, Martinez hit .286/.349/.518 with a leage-leading 42 doubles, three triples, 28 home runs, 99 runs driven in, 92 runs scored, 55 walks, and 15o strikeouts over 148 games (634 plate appearances) for a team that was two wins away from a World Series berth.

After opting into the final year of his contract, Martinez got off to another hot start in 2022. Towards the end of May, he was batting a stout .369/.429/.573 through his first 40 games. Though his power numbers were down (five home runs in 177 plate appearances), Martinez was named to the AL All-Star team as a reserve.

Back issues hindered Martinez during the second half of the season. He was not moved at the trade deadline in August and instead batted .233/.301/.400 after the All-Star break to finish the year with a .274/.341/.448 slash line to go along with 43 doubles, one triple, 16 home runs, 62 RBIs, 146 runs scored, 52 walks, and 145 strikeouts over 139 games spanning 596 trips to the plate. In what would turn out be his final home game in a Red Sox uniform, Martinez went deep twice in 6-3 win over the Rays at Fenway Park.

Although the Red Sox did not extend a qualifying offer to Martinez last month, they remained interested in a reunion. Rather than come back to Boston, though, the Boras Corp. client will now reunite with former Red Sox teammate Mookie Betts and former hitting instructor Robert Van Scoyoc in Los Angeles.

Martinez, who turns 36 in August, served strictly as a designated hitter this past season and has not seen any playing time in the outfield since 2021. That being said, he should be a welcomed addition to a Dodgers lineup that has lost the likes of Trea Turner, Cody Bellinger, and Joey Gallo in free agency.

Looking back at his time with the Red Sox, Martinez is undoubtedly one of the greatest free-agent signings in franchise history. In 637 career games with Boston, Martinez slashed .292/.363/.526 with 130 homers and 423 RBIs. He won two Silver Sluggers and was named an All-Star in four of his five seasons with the club.

With Martinez headed west, the Sox have now seen one-third of their 2022 Opening Day lineup leave in free agency this winter. In addition to Martinez, shortstop Xander Bogaerts has signed an 11-year, $280 million contract with the Padres while catcher Christian Vazquez inked a three-year, $30 million deal with the Twins. Nathan Eovaldi, who started against Gerrit Cole and the Yankees on that faithful April afternoon, remains unsigned.

How the Red Sox go about replacing Martinez in the lineup next season should be interesting. Masataka Yoshida figures to see the lion’s share of his playing time come in left field but could slot in at designated hitter from time to time as well. It seems likely that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and manager Alex Cora will utilize a “DH-by committee” approach as opposed to committing to just one player as they have in years past. That would allow for more versatility on the roster while also giving more players the opportunity to get off their feet by not playing the field on certain days.

(Picture of Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox trade Hoy Park to Braves for a player to be named later or cash considerations

The Red Sox have traded infielder/outfielder Hoy Park to the Braves in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations, the club announced on Friday.

Park, 26, was originally acquired from the Pirates last month in a trade that sent pitching prospect Inmer Lobo to Pittsburgh. The native South Korean was designated for assignment for the second time this offseason when the Red Sox needed to clear a 40-man roster spot in order to make the signing of closer Kenley Jansen official on Tuesday.

After spending the last three days in DFA limbo, Park now finds himself with his third organization of the winter and the fourth of his professional career. The former Yankees prospect first broke in with New York in 2021 before being traded to Pittsburgh with Diego Castillo for All-Star reliever Clay Holmes last July.

Park appeared in 44 games for the Pirates down the stretch last season and batted .197/.299/.399 with three home runs, 14 RBIs, and 16 runs scored. The left-handed hitter spent most of this past season in Triple-A and only managed a .216/.276/.373 line with two homers, six RBIs, and seven runs scored across 23 games (60 plate appearances) with the big-league club in Pittsburgh.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, Park — who turns 27 in April — has proven to be quite versatile during his brief time in the majors, as he has already appeared in at least one game at every defensive position besides pitcher, catcher, and first base. The Red Sox were intrigued by Park’s ability to play multiple positions, but ultimately decided to move on despite the fact that he has two minor-league options remaining.

The Red Sox and Braves will now have the next six months to decide on which Atlanta minor-leaguer will be dealt to complete this deal. If the two sides are unable to come to an agreement, the Braves will send cash to the Red Sox.

(Picture of Hoy Park: Joe Puetz/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Chaim Bloom on decision to designate Jeter Downs for assignment: ‘This was a tough one’

The Red Sox needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster in order to make the signing of Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida official on Thursday. They did so by designating infielder Jeter Downs for assignment.

Downs was one of three players — along with Alex Verdugo and Connor Wong — acquired from the Dodgers in the February 2020 trade that sent Mookie Betts and David Price to Los Angeles. The then-21-year-old was viewed as the top prospect in the deal after batting .276/.362/.526 with 24 home runs and 24 stolen bases between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa in 2019.

Coming into the 2020 season, Downs was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 3 prospect in Boston’s farm system and the No. 86 prospect in all of baseball. He spent the entirety of that summer at the Red Sox’ alternate training site in Pawtucket after the minor-league season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic but then made the jump to Triple-A Worcester last spring.

Downs entered the 2021 campaign ranked by Baseball America as the No. 2 prospect in Boston’s farm system and the No. 71 prospect in the sport. The right-handed hitter saw his stock drop significantly after batting just .191/.272/.333 with 14 home runs, 39 RBIs, and 18 stolen bases over 99 games (405 plate appearances) in his first season with the WooSox. He did, however, post an .880 OPS in the Arizona Fall League and was subsequently added to the Red Sox’ 40-man roster last November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.

After a disappointing 2021, Downs fell off Baseball America’s top 100 list completely but was still regarded by the publication as the No. 19 prospect in the Red Sox organization. He once again broke camp with the WooSox this spring but still struggled to find his footing at the plate even while repeating a level.

In 81 games with the WooSox this year, Downs batted .197/.316/.412 with 11 doubles, one triple, 16 homers, 33 runs driven in, 56 runs scored, 18 stolen bases, 38 walks, and 99 strikeouts across 335 trips to the plate. He made his major-league debut in June but hit just .154 (6-for-39) with one home run, four RBIs, four runs scored, one walk, and 21 strikeouts over 14 games before being sent back down to Worcester in late July. On August 18, Downs suffered a left ankle sprain that prematurely ended his season. He returned to action in the Puerto Rican Winter League, but managed a meager .146/.263/.188 slash line in 16 games with the Indios de Mayaguez before being released by the club earlier this month.

Despite the fact that he is still just 24 years old and was once, the Red Sox elected to designate Downs for assignment less than three years after trading for him. The decision to cut bait with Downs carries more weight when the other two players from the Betts deal have not exactly panned out, either. Verdugo, for the most part, has been an average outfielder in each of the last three seasons while Wong has accrued 70 big-league plate appearances over the last two seasons and projects to be a backup catcher as opposed to a starter.

As a former first-round draft pick who has been involved in two blockbuster trades, Downs was thought to have a ceiling that matched or even exceeded that of Verdugo, a former top prospect himself. He has instead shown that he is not yet able to handle major-league pitching, as evidenced by his dismal 51.4 percent strikeout rate and 41.7 percent whiff rate in a limited sample this year.

When speaking with reporters (including’s Chris Cotillo) at Fenway Park on Thursday afternoon, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom acknowledged that although the decision to designate Downs was a tough one, the fact that he was part of the Betts trade did not factor into it.

“I don’t think it changes what the decision is, because ultimately we have our responsibility to every player in this organization to make the right decision by all of them when we’re making decisions for the organization,” Bloom said. “No doubt he was a big part of a really significant trade. That we haven’t gotten him to the level we expected hurts. But at the end of the day, we want to do right by all of our players and he was the right decision, we thought, in this case.”

Downs, who does not turn 25 until next July, has two minor-league options remaining. While he has regressed offensively over the last two years, Downs did make strides defensively and can play both middle infield positions adequately. He also possesses intriguing power and speed, which will no-doubt make him of interest to other teams despite his concerning swing-and-miss rates against experienced pitching. The Red Sox will have the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Downs, who can be outrighted to Triple-A if he clears waivers.

“We knew, adding Masa, that we’d have a tough decision to make,” said Bloom. “That’s where we are with our 40-man. This is a good thing for the roster but there are only tough decisions from here on out. And this was a tough one. The fact that he was in a position where we considered him and chose him to be designated, I think just speaks to some of the struggles we’ve had getting him on track. I still think there’s a lot of physical ability there but we haven’t been able to unlock it consistently. Certainly know he’s still young and there’s no reason to write him off but he has obviously had some struggles.”

Though Downs did struggle with the Red Sox this season, he did enjoy a few memorable moments. His first career hit led to a walk-off win over the Yankees at Fenway Park on July 9. He then hit his first home run off Gerrit Cole at Yankee Stadium eight days later.

“I’m glad he was able to get to the big leagues with us,” Bloom said. “I was glad he was able to have a moment with us here at Fenway and help us win a big game. That was a lot of fun for a lot of people. But obviously, we haven’t been able to get him to that success as consistently as anybody would have liked, least of all Jeter.”

(Picture of Jeter Downs: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox make Masataka Yoshida signing official, designate Jeter Downs for assignment

The Red Sox have officially signed Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida to a five-year contract that runs through the 2027 season, the club announced on Thursday. In order to make room for Yoshida on the 40-man roster, infielder Jeter Downs was designated for assignment.

Yoshida, 29, agreed to a five-year, $90 million deal with the Red Sox last week — just hours after he was posted by the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball — and was introduced to the media at Fenway Park on Thursday afternoon. Boston also paid Orix a $15.375 million posting fee for Yoshida’s services, which takes the total value of the club’s investment to over $105 million.

According to’s Chris Cotillo, Yoshida received a $13 million signing bonus from the Red Sox and will earn $15 million in 2023 before earning $18 million per year from 2024 through 2027. The deal does not contain any performance bonuses, team options, or opt-out clauses and is the second-largest contract Chaim Bloom has given out since taking over as Boston’s chief baseball officer in October 2019. Only the six-year, $140 million deal that Trevor Story signed back in March surpasses it.

A native of Fukui, Yoshida initially broke in with Orix in 2016 and spent the last seven seasons playing at Japan’s top level. In 2022, the left-handed hitter batted a stout .335/.447/.561 with 28 doubles, one triple, 21 home runs, 88 RBIs, 56 runs scored, four stolen bases, 80 walks, and just 41 strikeouts over 119 games (508 plate appearances). For his NPB career, he is a lifetime .327/.421/.539 hitter who hit 133 homers and collected 467 RBIs in 762 games with the Buffaloes.

Yoshida has drawn more walks than strikeouts in each of the last four seasons and is well-regarded for his plate discipline. With that kind of approach, he could profile best as Boston’s leadoff hitter or even as a middle-of-the-lineup option in 2023.

Defensively, Yoshida figures to see the majority of his playing time with the Red Sox come in left field. There are some question marks surrounding the 5-foot-8, 176-pounder’s range and arm strength, but he could always be an option to fill in at designated hitter when needed.

Yoshida, who turns 30 in July, will wear the No. 7 with the Red Sox. He becomes the first position player and the fourth overall free agent signing Boston has made this winter, joining the likes of relievers Joely Rodriguez, Chris Martin, and Kenley Jansen.

Downs, on the other hand, was one of three players — along with Alex Verdugo and Connor Wong — acquired from the Dodgers in the February 2020 trade that sent Mookie Betts and David Price to Los Angeles. The native Colombian came into the Red Sox organization as one of its top prospects but has since seen his stock fall significantly.

After the 2020 minor-league season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Downs began the 2021 campaign with Triple-A Worcester. The right-handed hitter batted just .191/272/.333 with 14 home runs and 39 RBIs in 99 games (405 plate appearances) with the WooSox, but showed signs of promise in the Arizona Fall League and was added to Boston’s 40-man roster last November.

Downs returned to Worcester this spring and slashed .197/.316/.412 with 16 home runs and 33 RBIs over 81 games (335 plate appearances). The 24-year-old made his major-league debut in June but managed to go just 6-for-39 (.154) at the plate with one double and one homer while striking out 21 times. He was sent down in late July and then suffered a season-ending left ankle sprain at Polar Park on August 18.

Despite the offensive struggles he has endured at both the Triple-A and big-league level, it is still somewhat surprising to see the Red Sox designate Downs for assignment. As noted by Cotillo, the 5-foot-11, 195-pounder is seen as a competent middle infielder who possesses both speed and power. While the rate at which he swings-and-misses is concerning, Downs does have two minor-league options remaining and could therefore appeal to other clubs.

The Red Sox, for their part, will have the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Downs. If he clears waivers, Boston can outright him to Triple-A and keep him in the organization as a non-40-man roster player.

(Picture of Masataka Yoshida: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox rumors: Michael Wacha drawing interest from Orioles, per report

The Orioles are showing continued interest in Red Sox free agent Michael Wacha, according to Jon Morosi of Morosi notes that Wacha’s market could move quickly now that fellow free agent starters Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen have reportedly agreed to deals with the Dodgers and Tigers, respectively.

Wacha, 31, enjoyed a productive season with the Red Sox after signing a one-year, $7 million deal with the club last November. In 23 starts for Boston, the veteran right-hander posted a 3.32 ERA and 4.14 FIP with 104 strikeouts to 31 walks over 127 2/3 innings of work.

While those numbers are undoubtedly solid, Wacha did land on the injured list twice because of left intercostal irritation in May and then because of right shoulder inflammation in early July. Upon returning from the IL for the second and final time in mid-August, Wacha pitched to a 4.11 ERA (4.36 FIP) in 10 starts (57 innings) to close out his season.

Over the course of the 2022 campaign, Wacha relied on a five-pitch mix that consisted of a four-seam fastball that averaged 93 mph, a changeup that averaged 84.3 mph, a cutter that averaged 88.8 mph, a sinker that averaged 92.6 mph, and a curveball that averaged 74.7 mph. The changeup was by far his most effective offering, as the 6-foot-6, 215-pound hurler held opposing hitters to a .176 expected batting average with it. According to Baseball Savant, Wacha stood out in two statistical categories this season. His 6.0 percent walk rate ranked in the 79th percentile of the league while his 35.4 percent hard-hit rate ranked in the 70th percentile.

A former first-round pick of the Cardinals who spent the first seven seasons of his major-league career in St. Louis, Wacha — a client of CAA Sports — is surely looking to cash in and land a multi-year deal this winter after having to settle for one-year pacts with the Mets, Rays, and Red Sox in each of the last three offseasons. The Texas A&M product is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to receive a two-year, $16 million contract in free agency.

Coming off their first winning season since 2016, the Orioles appear to be a team on the rise in the American League East. So far this offseason, Baltimore — under general manager Mike Elias — has signed veteran starter Kyle Gibson to a one-year, $10 million deal. It also has top prospect Grayson Rodriguez waiting in the wings to join a rotation mix that should include Gibson, Dean Kremer, Kyle Bradish, Tyler Wells, Austin Voth, Mike Baumann, DL Hall, and the rehabbing John Means, among others.

Wacha, who does not turn 32 until July, would join Gibson in providing the Orioles with some stability and experience out of the rotation if he can stay healthy. The Red Sox did not extend Wacha a qualifying offer last month, meaning the righty is not attached to any sort of draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere.

Boston did, however, issue a qualifying offer to Nathan Eovaldi, who rejected it and is now drawing interest from another division rival in the Yankees. Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said at last week’s Winter Meetings in San Diego that he still looking to add a starter or two, so reunions with one or both of Eovaldi and Wacha certainly cannot be ruled out yet.

(Picture of Michael Wacha: G Fiume/Getty Images)

Red Sox could risk losing Nathan Eovaldi to Yankees in free agency if New York is unable to land Carlos Rodón, per report

The Yankees may turn their attention to Red Sox free agent Nathan Eovaldi if they are unable to sign left-hander Carlos Rodon, according to The New York Post’s Jon Heyman.

As the top remaining free agent starter on the market, Rodon is reportedly seeking a deal of seven-plus years for at least $30 million per year. The Yankees have already made Rodon an initial offer, but there is apparently a sizable gap between what the 30-year-old southpaw wants and what New York is willing to give him.

“Rodon remains the Yankees’ top priority despite the gap, and the sides are expected to work on potential compromises over the next few days,” Heyman wrote on Tuesday. “The Yankees believe Rodon wants to come to New York, but if they can’t bridge their difference, they may turn to their next choice, believed to be ex-Yankee Nate Eovaldi. Rodon brings some advantages, his left-handedness being one in Yankee Stadium.”

Eovaldi, who pitched for the Yankees from 2015-2016, should already be quite familiar with the organization. If general manager Brian Cashman and Co. are unable to reel in Rodon, the 32-year-old righty could provide a veteran presence to a starting rotation that is projected to include Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Luis Severino, Frankie Montas, and Domingo German.

As noted by’s Chris Cotillo, Eovaldi’s market has been a slow-moving one this winter. That likely has to do with the fact that the righty is attached to draft pick compensation since the Red Sox extended him a qualifying offer last month.

Eovaldi, who turns 33 in February, posted a 3.87 ERA and 4.30 FIP with 103 strikeouts to 20 walks over 20 starts (109 1/3 innings) for Boston in the final year of his four-year, $68 million contract this season. His workload was limited to due to bouts with low back and right shoulder inflammation. The Red Sox, per Cotillo, did not make any extension offers to Eovaldi during the regular season but have had talks with the ACES client since the World Series ended.

In addition to issuing him a $19.65 million qualifying offer, the Red Sox also gave Eovaldi a multi-year contract offer. He rejected both of those offers, meaning Boston will receive a compensatory pick between the fourth and fifth round of next year’s draft if Eovaldi signs elsewhere.

Earlier this week, WEEI’s Rob Bradford reported that other teams had shown more interest in Eovaldi than the Red Sox had since free agency began in November. The Yankees could very well be one of those teams, though the Sox would still like to add a starter two to their rotation mix for 2023, meaning Eovaldi could still be part of their plans.

“I think everybody knows the situation,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said of Eovaldi during last week’s Winter Meetings in San Diego. “There has been contact and there has been mutual desire for him to come back here. But nothing to report on that front.”

While Eovaldi remains unsigned for the time being, the native Texan did commit to pitch for Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic on Wednesday.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Former Red Sox catcher Christian Vázquez agrees to three-year, $30 million deal with Twins, per report

Former Red Sox catcher has agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Twins, as first reported by The New York Post’s Jon Heyman. The deal, which is pending a physical, comes with $30 million in guaranteed money, according to Twins Daily’s Ted Schwerzler.

Vazquez, 32, was Minnesota’s top free agent catching target, per The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman. The native Puerto Rican split the 2022 season between the Red Sox and Astros and batted .274/.315/.399 with 23 doubles, nine home runs, 52 RBIs, 41 runs scored, one stolen base, 22 walks, and 69 strikeouts over 119 games spanning 426 trips to the plate.

After the Red Sox picked up his $7 million club option last offseason, Vazquez opened the 2022 campaign as Boston’s No. 1 catcher. The right-handed hitter slashed a stout .282/.327/.432 with eight homers and 42 RBIs in his first 84 games (318 plate appearances) of the year before emerging as a trade candidate in late July.

On August 1, while they were already in Houston, the Red Sox dealt Vazquez to the Astros in exchange for prospects Wilyer Abreu and Enmanuel Valdez. Abreu and Valdez spent the rest of the season in the minor-leagues and have since been added to Boston’s 40-man roster. Vazquez, on the other hand, split time behind the plate with fellow Puerto Rican Martin Maldonado and produced a meager .250/.278/.308 slash line in 35 regular season games (108 plate appearances) with the Astros.

During Houston’s run to its second World Series title in six seasons, Vazquez had some memorable moments. He caught 12 innings of scoreless baseball against the Mariners in Game 3 of the American League Division Series, caught nine more scoreless frames against the Yankees in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, and then caught a combined no-hitter in Game 4 of the World Series against the Phillies.

Vazquez reached free agency for the first time in his career last month. He drew interest from several teams, including the Cardinals, Cubs, and Red Sox. At last week’s winter meetings in San Diego, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom expressed interest in a reunion with the two-time World Series champion.

Instead of reuniting with the team he spent the first 14 years of his professional career with, though, Vazquez elected to sign with the Twins, who — like the Red Sox — make their spring training home in Fort Myers, Fla.

Vazquez, who does not turn 33 until next August, should provide Minnesota with a reliable veteran presence to pair alongside 25-year-old backstop Ryan Jeffers. In addition to what he does offensively, Vazquez has proven to be solid from behind the plate as well. This past season, the 5-foot-9, 205-pounder threw out 19 of 70 possible base stealers and accrued 11 defensive runs saved across 870 innings at catcher.

With Vazquez agreeing to sign elsewhere, the Red Sox will need to look in another direction if they intend on bolstering their catching depth this winter. As things stand now, Reese McGuire and Connor Wong are the only two catchers on Boston’s 40-man roster. Last week,’s Chris Cotillo reported that the Sox were “actively pursuing” backstops who could be had in free agency or via trade.

“There have been some talks. We’re in on the guys that we like,” Bloom said of the catching market when speaking with reporters (including Cotillo) in San Diego. “There’s some guys that we like but, forever reason, aren’t the right fits for us. We’re trying to be selective with who we pursue.”

(Picture of Christian Vazquez: Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Red Sox have talked about signing former Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson, per report

The Red Sox have talked about signing free agent third baseman/outfielder Brian Anderson, according to Boston Sports Journal’s Sean McAdam.

Anderson, 29, was non-tendered by the Marlins last month after batting just .222/.311/.346 with 16 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 28 RBIs, 43 runs scored, one stolen base, 37 walks, and 101 strikeouts over 98 games (383 plate appearances) this past season. The right-handed hitter was projected to earn $5.2 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility, but he instead hit the open market earlier than anticipated.

A former third-round draft selection out of the University of Arkansas in 2014, Anderson was a top prospect within Miami’s farm system prior to making his major-league debut in September 2017. He finished fourth in National League Rookie of the Year voting during his first full season as a big-leaguer in 2018 and then hit a career-high 20 home runs while posting an .811 OPS the following year.

Anderson appeared in 59 of the Marlins’ 60 games in the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign but has since been dogged by different injuries. Last season, he was limited to just 67 games due to a left oblique strain and left shoulder subluxation. This year, Anderson missed time with lower back spasms and a left shoulder sprain.

Defensively, the majority of Anderson’s playing time over the last six seasons has come at either third base or right field. In 2022, the 6-foot-3, 208-pounder graded posted negative-four defensive runs saved and negative-two outs above average across 371 innings at the hot corner as well as one defensive run saved and negative-three outs above average across 307 1/3 innings in right. He also ranked in the 99th percentile of the league in arm strength by averaging 95.9 mph on his throws, per Baseball Savant.

Anderson, who turns 30 in May, represents another potential buy-low candidate for the Red Sox who can play multiple positions. The CAA Sports Client is presumably looking to up his value before hitting the open market again next winter, and Boston could provide him with that opportunity by signing him to a one-year contract.

With the Red Sox reportedly open to trading Bobby Dalbec, Anderson would make sense as a right-handed bat who could come off the bench and complement Rafael Devers at third base. He could also spell the left-handed hitting duo of Alex Verdugo and Masataka Yoshida when needed as well.

(Picture of Brian Anderson: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)