The Boston Red Sox were dreadful last season in every sense of the word after a 24-36 record, last in the AL East. They were a solid fifth in the AL in runs scored, but their Achilles’ heel was their woeful 5.58 ERA. The off season is clearly a time for the Red Sox to bolster the pitching staff, but what moves will be made to accomplish this?
One move just made was the signing of right-hander relief pitcher Matt Andriese to a one-year $2.1 million contract with a club option for 2022. Should the Boston Red Sox exercise the option, Andriese could earn up to $7.35 million. Basically, this means that Andriese must prove his worth.
Matt Andriese has played for the Rays, Diamondbacks, and the Angels during his six-year career. Red Sox chief baseball office Chaim Bloom played a role in the Rays getting Andriese in a trade with the San Diego Padres over six years ago. During his time with Tampa Bay, Andriese was serviceable, posting an ERA of 4.30 in 99 games. However, times have been rough for Andriese since leaving Tampa Bay, leading to some questions as to how much the 31-year-old will help the Boston Red Sox this season. His ERA with the Diamondbacks and Angels was a lofty 5.53, although his strikeout rate has climbed to over one per inning.
One positive about Matt Andriese is his versatility. He can provide innings both out of the bullpen and in the starting rotation. Considering the health of members of the pitching staff, particularly, Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Sale, and Eduardo Rodriguez, the signing of Andriese makes sense. While it wouldn’t be reasonable for the Red Sox to expect a career 4.57 ERA pitcher in Matt Andriese to completely make up for the loss of Sale, Eovaldi, or Rodriguez, anything close to his form with the Rays will give the Boston Red Sox a boost. It could also be enough for the team to exercise Andriese’s option for 2022.