The Red Sox lost a bit of bullpen depth today as left-hander Jose Mijares opted out of his minor league contract with the Red Sox. Mijares had signed a deal including an opt-out clause which he activated today, so he will become a free agent and could certainly find a home in the last week of spring training. Despite the little competition for the last available bullpen spot (due to Craig Breslow‘s likelihood to start the year on the disabled list), Mijares was just too much of a long shot to make the team.
Unlike his competitors in veterans Francisco Cordero (8 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 8 K) and Tommy Layne (8 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 7 K) and youngsters Brandon Workman and Drake Britton, Mijares had a both poor spring and offers relatively little upside. The 29-year old southpaw pitched 7 innings this spring and just allowed too much hard contact (8 hits, 4 runs) to have a legitimate shot at the team.
Mijares has enjoyed some success in the past– he has a career 3.23 ERA in parts of six major league seasons– but he has struggled with the previously-mentioned hard contact in the past. Last season, for example, he allowed a .315 opponents’ batting average and while that was obviously impacted by a .410 BABIP, he was just not effective. When used in the right circumstances– exclusively against lefties– Mijares has been effective in the past, but he just offers less upside than any of the previously mentioned names. The Red Sox will lose a bit of depth with his subtraction, but they still have arguably the deepest team in baseball and the bullpen is still a major area of strength for the BoSox.